Conscience and the Constitution

The documents

Nisei, Your Move Next

editorial in the Minidoka Irrigator
camp newspaper of Minidoka Relocation Center, Hunt, Idaho

November 25, 1942

Min Yasui faces the prospect of a year's confinement in a "road camp," of paying a $5,000 fine for having failed to win his test case, as he termed it, in Federal District Court last week.

The sentence by Judge James A. Fee has terminated the first phase of Yasui's case which began last spring when he deliberately violated curfew laws, taking it upon himself to test the validity of what Senator Robert Taft termed, "The sloppiest criminal law I have ever seen or read anywhere." Senator Taft doubted its constitutionality.

Yasui also doubted its constitutionality and his doubt was subsequently proven justified with Judge Fee's ruling that without declaration of martial law, the military has no power to regulate the life and conduct of the ordinary American citizen.

We feel with Min when he writes that he is not in a position to "carry the fight further because of my personal citizenship status"

It is perhaps too much to expect Min to carry on when his right to American citzenship is challenged.

Is it too much for us to carry on where Min cannot? Is it too much for the JACL, the national JACL, upon which Min has pinned his hopes to clarify his case's wide implications, to actively see it through? His appeal should not remain unheeded.

Nor should the Citizens' League be burdened with sole reponsibility. What of the mass of us who have never closed that gap between ourselves and the JACL, who have stood at arm's length and criticized the organization?

Min's appeal to the JACL is an appeal to all nisei.


Updated: November 6, 1998