Hirabayashi v. United States

PETITIONER: Hirabayashi
RESPONDENT: United States

DECIDED BY: Stone Court (1943-1945)

ARGUED: May 10, 1943 / May 11, 1943
DECIDED: Jun 21, 1943

Facts of the case

In the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt acted to prevent incidents of subversion and espionage from individuals of Japanese descent living in the United States. He issued two executive orders which were quickly enacted into law. One gave the Secretary of War the power to designate certain parts of the country "military areas" and exclude certain persons from them. The second established the War Relocation Authority which had the power to remove, maintain, and supervise persons who were excluded from the military areas. Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi, a student at the University of Washington, was convicted of violating a curfew and relocation order.


Did the President's executive orders and the power delegated to the military authorities discriminate against Americans and resident aliens of Japanese descent in violation of the Fifth Amendment?