Work with one or two partners.
Read about the following situation:
You live in the country of Greatland. A war is taking place on
other continents. A country called Blue Empire started the war by
invading nearby countries. Blue Empire forms an alliance with Janus,
which is trying to take over other countries on yet another continent.
Your country and your whole continent are not actively involved
yet. However, you are concerned and watching the situation. Then,
Janus attacks a territory that belongs to your country. The territory
is thousands of miles off the mainland.
People who have family ties to Blue Empire and Janus live on the
mainland and territories of Greatland. Some of those people were born
in this country and are citizens of Greatland. Others traveled here and
are now living here legally.
Pretend you are one or more of the leaders listed in the chart on this worksheet. Think
about what concerns you might have and how you would respond. Record
your replies in the before column. How might the perspective and
response be different for each of the people in the chart?
Now, read the facts of the case of Korematsu v. U.S. Read them carefully.
After the reading, assume the facts of the scenario above describe the alliance between Germany (Blue Empire) and Japan
(Janus) during World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
(Greatland). With your partner, go back to the chart and answer the
questions again in the after column.
Consider these questions with your partner or in a discussion with the whole class.
Were your responses similar in both columns? Why or why not?
What rights do you think are involved in this case?
The U. S. Constitution says the president is the Commander in Chief
of the Military, but he does not run the military on a day-to-day basis.
The president is also sworn to uphold the Constitution, which includes
protecting individual rights. Which role is more important? Why?
When people think the military or the president has acted improperly and violated the Constitution, what can they do?
How is our government set up to keep the president from having too much power?
What do you think is the most important idea from this case?