Constitution Day Program

The Constitution in a Time of War: The Trial of Minoru Yasui

Thu, 09/16/2010
4:30 PM, 10 McCosh Hall
Event Category: 
Co-sponsored Event

This two-part program begins with a dramatic re-enactment (featuring student readers) of the trial of Minoru Yasui, who was convicted in federal court in Portland, Oregon, in 1942 of defying military orders that eventually resulted in the internment of some 120,000 Japanese-Americans, the majority of whom were U.S. citizens.   Portions of the trial, including the direct and cross-examinations of Minoru Yasui, will be presented, drawn from the actual trial transcripts.  

The program will continue with a discussion of issues raised by the Yasui case that still resonate today:   What does it mean to be a United States citizen?   Does the administration of justice bend under the weight of national crisis?   To what extent must civil rights and civil liberties give way to the needs of national security?   May individual liberty be restricted in the name of preserving liberty for all?

The event is open to the public.  Additional details at

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Program in American Studies, the Center for African American Studies, the Department of English, the Program in Law and Public Affairs, and the James Madison Program.