Stop Repeating History: Applying the Lessons of Korematsu in the 21st Century to Advance Justice for All

Recorded On: 07/18/2022

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This program is intended to be a follow-up to viewing the award-winning documentary, ALTERNATIVE FACTS: The Lies of Executive Order 9066. The film can be viewed via Kanopy, which is available at most public libraries across the nation, and we are working on securing a viewing license for all AALL members. The film details how racial bias, intentional falsehoods, the suppression of evidence, and the secret alteration of a key military report resulted in Supreme Court approval of the mass removal of Japanese Americans during World War II. The film addresses how the discovery of government documents in the National Archives 40 years later led to coram nobis actions reopening Fred Korematsu’s case as well as others and brought about the vacation of his conviction. 

Panelists, including a member of the coram nobis legal team, the documentary filmmaker, and a government law librarian, will discuss the manipulation of information and legal argument to justify the government’s World War II actions and the ethical implications of those actions; the use of legal research and archival resources that uncovered the egregiousness behind Korematsu's original conviction; how primary sources and legal research can advance justice for all; and the parallels to modern incidents fueled by racism and xenophobia. The 66-minute film is available for AALL members to watch in advance at vimeo.com/420445059  (pw: aall2022!). 

Recorded at the 2022 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference. Please note the opinions shared during the programs represent the views of the speakers and not of AALL.


This presentation is geared for new and experienced law librarians, from all SISs and specialty caucuses, from across AALL membership. Given the subject matter, there is something for everyone: those devoted to legal research and archives, to legal research instruction, as well as those working in collection management, reference, government documents, circulation, technical services, paraprofessionals, students, and library directors and colleagues working in academic, firm, or government settings. We invite and are hoping to present to fellow colleagues, both new and senior, and anyone interested in discussing and learning more about issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.


  1. Participants will be able to list at least three instances where racist misinformation was used to undermine the U.S. justice system and lead to one of the most egregious acts of anti-Asian hate in our country’s history, as well as identify how access to legal information can stop history from repeating itself and advance justice for all.
  2. Participants will be equipped with strategies for using Japanese American incarceration to discuss social justice, race, language choices, and the ethical role of lawyers in the law school curriculum as well as professional and public education.
  3. Using examples grounded in Japanese American incarceration, participants will be able to demonstrate research skills and potential hurdles to effective research, including the value of archival and other primary source material to advance justice, including the limitations of relying on vendor analysis and reporting of precedent.


  • Lorraine Bannai, Seattle University School of Law
  • Jon Osaki, JJML Productions


  • Jenny Silbiger, Hawaii Supreme Court Law Library


  • Heaven Chee, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

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Stop Repeating History: Applying the Lessons of Korematsu in the 21st Century to Advance Justice for All
Open to listen to or download MP3 audio.
Open to listen to or download MP3 audio.