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Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz Sentinel-News, Evening Edition. Nov. 17, 1942. p. 8
MILITARY RULE ON JAP ALIENS WILL GOVERN
San Francisco, Nov. 17. The Western Defense Command said today all its orders would remain in force respite a ruling by Federal Judge James A. Fee at Portland, Ore., that Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt, WDC commander has no power to regulate activities of United States citizens.
Ruling on the appeal of Minora Yasui, 26, Hood river, Ore., Japanese accused of violating the curfew order. Fee held that the order was valid with respect to aliens, but void in the case of citizens.
Fee upheld Yasui's conviction, although he is American born on the grounds that he had forfeited citizenship by association with the Japanese consulate general.
Federal attorneys said they believed effect of the ruling would be negligible because rulings of a district court are not binding on other districts, and because several previous tests in California district courts have upheld DeWitt.
In the California cases, judges held, that the military has the power to regulate civilian life when there is threat of invasion even if martial law has not been declared.
Effective reversal of DeWitt's orders would have widespread repercussions because under his decrees thousands of American born Japanese have been evacuated from military areas of the west coast, citizens regarded as "dangerous or potentially dangerous" excluded and dim out zones established.
Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz Sentinel-News, Evening Edition. Reproduced by permission.