Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Gordon Hirabayashi Interview II
Narrator: Gordon Hirabayashi
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary), Alice Ito (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 25, 1999
Densho ID: denshovh-hgordon-02-0018

<Begin Segment 18>

AI: I guess I do have one question. Is -- at this time you're still very full of your idealistic principles that you had really strong feelings about. And I was wondering, did you think that the principles of justice and righteousness would prevail in, in the legal arena? Did you, was that -- did you think that you would have a good legal outcome, or did you have some doubt and thinking, maybe he's right. Maybe I will spend many years incarcerated?

GH: I didn't have any, any probability thoughts of myself, how long I would stay in. What difference it would make of, of those options he was reciting. I, I felt that during the war it would be hard to get justice. And I probably wouldn't get it in the lower courts. But when it got to the Supreme Court, those Justices, their, their main raison detre for existence is to uphold the Constitution. I thought, how in the world can they uphold 'em against me? I didn't see how they could do it. So I thought when it got up to there I'll probably have a hearing. Well, it turned out I didn't. [Laughs] Unanimously I got turned down. And Korematsu was six to three. It came in eighteen months later and it was six to three. And mine was actually eight to nothing. There was one vacancy at the time, but it was unanimous you see. And it took, it took the forty years later, the circuit court, Mary Schroeder and her group, to blast it down you know. And so, at some point it did come through, but not, not at the earlier part of the case. But I didn't expect it to. During the war nothing that the army said was questioned.

TI: At this point I think we're gonna take a -- we're gonna stop the interview and then we'll get into the, the cases hopefully at the next interview. But thank you, Gordon. This was a very good session.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 1999 Densho. All Rights Reserved.