HOUSE BILL No. 4197

 

 

February 14, 2019, Introduced by Reps. Kuppa, Manoogian, Chirkun, Love, Sneller, Pagan, Warren, Elder, Robinson, Coleman, Wittenberg, Hood, Lasinski, Whitsett, Hertel, Hammoud, Camilleri, LaGrand, Pohutsky and Sabo and referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

 

     A bill to amend 2003 PA 225, entitled

 

"An act to designate March 31 of each year as Cesar E. Chavez day

in the state of Michigan; to designate July 14 of each year as

President Gerald R. Ford day in the state of Michigan; and to

designate July 30 of each year as Henry Ford day in the state of

Michigan,"

 

(MCL 435.301 to 435.303) by amending the title and by adding

 

section 4.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

TITLE

 

     An act to designate January 30 of each year as Fred Korematsu

 

day, March 31 of each year as Cesar E. Chavez day, in the state of

 

Michigan; to designate July 14 of each year as President Gerald R.

 

Ford day, in the state of Michigan; and to designate July 30 of

 

each year as Henry Ford day in the this state. of Michigan.

 

     Sec. 4. (1) The legislature recognizes the contributions to


civil liberties made by Fred Korematsu. Fred Korematsu was born to

 

Japanese immigrant parents in Oakland, California, on January 30,

 

1919, the third of 4 sons. Fred Korematsu was 1 of the many

 

American citizens of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast

 

during World War II. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor by the

 

Imperial Japanese Navy on December 7, 1941, President Franklin

 

Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 9066 on February 19,

 

1942. The order authorized the Secretary of War and his military

 

commanders to require all Americans of Japanese ancestry to be

 

placed in internment camps. Fred Korematsu is famously known for

 

his arrest, at the age of 23, on May 30, 1942, and conviction on

 

September 8, 1942 for defying the government's order to report to

 

an assembly center to be moved to an internment camp. He appealed

 

his case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In the

 

December 1944 landmark decision of Korematsu v United States, the

 

high court ruled against him with a 6-to-3 decision that declared

 

that the incarceration was justified by the Army's claims that

 

Americans of Japanese ancestry were radio-signaling enemy ships

 

from shore and were prone to dishonesty. Fred Korematsu later moved

 

to Detroit, Michigan, where his younger brother resided. There he

 

met his wife Kathryn, and the 2 wed before moving to California to

 

raise their children, Karen and Ken. Fred Korematsu's conviction

 

was formally vacated on November 10, 1983 by United States District

 

Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the United States District Court of

 

Northern California in San Francisco. This action, considered to be

 

a pivotal moment in civil rights history, cleared Fred Korematsu's

 

name but did not overturn the 1944 Supreme Court decision. Fred


Korematsu remained an activist throughout his life. On February 9,

 

1989, Fred Korematsu spoke to 400 students, faculty, and former

 

internees at the University of Michigan Law School. He said,

 

"America finally came through for me, but I don't want this to

 

happen again". In 1998, he received the nation's highest civilian

 

honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, from President Clinton

 

for his contributions. Fred Korematsu served on the Constitution

 

Project's bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee from 2001 until

 

his death on March 30, 2005. Fred Korematsu was recognized in 2010

 

when the state of California passed the Fred Korematsu day of civil

 

liberties and the constitution bill, making January 30 of each year

 

the first day in United States history designated to honor an Asian

 

American. Fred Korematsu day has also been recognized in Hawaii,

 

Utah, Georgia, and Virginia. Fred Korematsu is considered by many

 

as a national civil rights hero whose growing legacy continues to

 

inspire people of all backgrounds.

 

     (2) In recognition of the contributions that Fred Korematsu

 

has made, the legislature declares that January 30 of each year

 

shall be known as "Fred Korematsu Day".

 

     Enacting section 1. This amendatory act takes effect 90 days

 

after the date it is enacted into law.