You can edit almost every page by Creating an account. Otherwise, see the FAQ.

Ernest Besig

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Script error: No such module "AfC submission catcheck".

Ernest Besig (May 30, 1904 – November 13, 1998), an American lawyer, was an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, who served as Fred Korematsu’s representation during the ‘Korematsu v. United States’ case.[1] Besig used his law based educational background to defend Japanese American incarceration during World War Two, including opposing the mass detention without due process of hundreds of men in the stockade at the Tule Lake Segregation Center.[2] Besig entered the public eye when he visited Korematsu in jail (who was arrested for resisting incarceration shortly after executive order 9066), persuading Korematsu to become a plaintiff in his legal efforts against Japanese American incarceration. The public trial ended in failure at the time, however, Besig’s legal efforts were recognized in retrospective success after a retrial over 40 years later.[3]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Ernest Besig was born in Ravena, New York in 1904.[4] Besig’s scholarly strengths were recognised early on in his academic career, where he gained multiple honors from Cornell University, the latter being a doctorate of law.[5] After graduating, Besig worked for a judge briefly before changing career path to a finance based role in Rochester, New York.[6] Much like his stint working for a judge, this didn’t last long and he promptly joined his sister in Los Angeles.[7] It was in Los Angeles where he began to scratch the surface of his vocational interests, Besig became acquainted with the ACLU to the extent of becoming a member of the board, and started using his legal knowledge to fight for civilian liberty.[8]In 1935, the Holmes-Eureka lumber mill was on strike in San Francisco.[9] The situation escalated to 11 casualties (3 of which were deaths), after the people in question were arrested, they were left with no legal representation.[10] Besig heard of the case and temporarily relocated to San Francisco to represent the charged individuals.[11] After a series of prolonged cases, Besig made the decision to permanently stay in San Francisco, where he lived for 35 years.[12]

Korematsu v. United States[edit]

Around 10 weeks after the U.S entered World War II, President Franklin D.[13] Roosevelt issued Executive order 9066 on February 19, 1942.[14] This directive authorized the Secretary of War and the armed forces to move individuals of Japanese descent from designated military areas and nearby communities in the United States.[15] These areas were off limits to Japanese aliens and Japanese American citizens. The order triggered the mass transportation and relocation of over 120,000 Japanese individuals to government established detention camps within approximately 14 weeks.[16] Most of the relocated people lived in the West coast, within about two thirds being American citizens. Following the order, the military transported them to 26 sites in seven western states, including about two-thirds being American citizens.[17] Following the order, the military transported them to 26 sites in seven western states, including remote locations in Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.[18] Fred Korematsu, a 23 year old Japanese American, resisted evacuation orders during World War II, despite his parents complying. He underwent plastic surgery, changed his identity, and was arrested by the FBI in 1942 for refusing relocation. In jail, he allowed the ACLU to make his case a constitutional challenge. Convicted in federal court, he appealed to the U.S court of appeals, which upheld the decision. The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision on December 18, 1944, controversially justified his detention as a “military necessity,” not acknowledging racial discrimination.[19] Roughly 40 years after the conclusion of Korematsu’s legal action. The case was reopened, with it being straightforward, it ultimately recognized the legal efforts of Ernest Besig and reversed the verdict. The case was so linear that Justice Murphy stated that the initial case “goes over the very brink of constitutional power and falls into the ugly abyss of racism”.[20] At the conclusion of the reopened case Korematsu followed by being quoted saying “justice in this country is still possible.”[21] Which spoke to the courageous initial efforts by his representation, Besig. The majority opinion specifically examined the part of the order that required Fred Korematsu to leave the designated area, rather than evaluating the entire order. Because the order targeted individuals' descent, it underwent strict scrutiny. The majority acknowledged the general impermissibility for forcing citizens from their homes but recognized and exception in cases of “grave and imminent danger of public safety”, with a clear link between government actions and preventing espionage and sabotage.[22] The majority concluded that there was sufficient danger and connection to justify korematsu’s evacuation, deeming the order as a whole, highlighting the broader context of contemporaneous orders that resulted in the imprisonment of U.S citizens in what were essentially concentration camps solely based on race.

Later Life[edit]

For his later years following World War II, the ACLU of Northern California advocated for over 100 Issei Individuals who were at risk of deportation. This threat arose due to their illegal entry into the country or the revocation of the trade treaty that permitted their stay in the U.S, particularly impacting those with U.S citizen spouses and children. The situation changed when Congress passed a law in 1948, enabling the government to halt deportation cases of “hardship,” even for Issei individuals who were racially ineligible for U.S citizenship at the time. Consequently, the legal challenge became irrelevant. Under Besig’s guidance, the ACLU of Northern California endorsed Waye Collins’ legal action aimed at stopping the deportation of Japanese Peruvians to Japan. These individuals alleged that they had been forcibly taken from Peru by U.S military police, transported to the U.S against their wishes, and subsequently held in the Department of Justice camps.[23] In the post war period, Besig did not participate in additional Japanese American cases. However, he used the organizations newsletter to highlight campaigns against California’s Alien Land Law, the challenges faced by Japanese Peruvians seeking to return to Peru, and the endeavors of Nisei renunciants aiming to restore citizenship. Following his retirement from the ACLU in 1971, he became a political science instructor at San Francisco State University and took the role of a mediator, resolving fee disputes for the San Francisco Bar Association. He later passed away on November 13, 1998, at the age of 94.[24]

This article "Ernest Besig" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Ernest Besig. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.