This week we preview the upcoming Peter Chase Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice, featuring activist and philanthropist Karen Korematsu. Find out more below, and please join us online on March 24 -- register here.

We also spotlight recent commentary on two SCOTUS asylum cases by professor Eunice Lee.

Until the footnotes,
Karen Korematsu to Discuss Korematsu v. U.S. at 2021 Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice

Karen Korematsu, founder and executive director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute, and daughter of the late civil rights icon, will deliver the 2021 Peter Chase Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law on March 24.
Korematsu will discuss why her father's fight for justice was a fight for all Americans, and what his message would be if he were living today. Topics will include her father's background, why his controversial U.S. Supreme Court case decision has been cited frequently over the past 75 years, and Dr. Korematsu's campaign for the State of Arizona to establish "Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution" on January 30 in perpetuity.
Fred T. Korematsu was a national civil rights hero. In 1942, at 23 years old, he refused to go to the United States government's incarceration camps for Japanese Americans. After he was arrested and convicted of defying the government's order, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1944, the Supreme Court ruled against him, arguing that the incarceration was justified due to military necessity. 

The decision in Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944) was widely criticized and has been repudiated by modern courts. In 1983, Korematsu's conviction was overturned in a federal court in San Francisco. It was a pivotal moment in civil rights history.
When: Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 5:30-6:45 p.m. (Arizona time/MST)
Where: The Peter Chase Neumann Lecture will be delivered live via Zoom. 
Who may attend: This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.


About Karen Korematsu

Since her father's passing in 2005, Karen Korematsu has carried on his legacy as a public speaker, educator, and civil rights advocate. She shares her father's passion for social justice and education and in 2009 established the Fred T. Korematsu Institute to advance racial equity, social justice, and human rights for all. The Institute's work has expanded from K-12 civic education to promoting public civic engagement and participation. 
Her work extends to advocating civil liberties for all communities and addresses current issues that draws upon lessons of the past.
Korematsu has signed on to amicus briefs in several cases opposing violations of constitutional rights arising after 9/11, including Odah v. United States, Turkman v. Ashcroft, Hedges v. Obama, and Hassan v. City of New York and recently, Hawaii v. Trump.
In 2015, she was inducted as the first non-lawyer member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Korematsu serves on the board of directors of Advancing Justice-AAJC and NAPABA Law Foundation. Korematsu has received numerous awards and honors including GMNY 2015 Isidore Starr Award, Muslim Advocates-Voice of Freedom Award; the "Key to the City of Dearborn, Michigan"; and the ACLU-Chief Justice Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award. 

Most recently, Korematsu received the Community Leadership Award from the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies in Washington, D.C., and her first honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from St. Michael's College in Burlington, Vermont.

About the Peter Chase Neumann Lecture

The Peter Chase Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice is part of Arizona Law's Civil Justice Initiative, which seeks to elevate the American civil justice system and train the next generation of great trial lawyers.
The lecture series began in 2013, with past speakers including Patrick J. McGroder ('70) and Richard Fried ('66). 

University of Arizona Law alumnus Peter Chase Neumann ('64) endowed the lecture in 2016.

Around the College

Eunice Lee Analyzes Supreme Court Asylum Cases on SCOTUSblog


Professor Eunice Lee provided commentary for SCOTUSblog on two consolidated asylum cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this term.
In the first of a three-part series, Eunice provided a case preview on the consolidated cases of Wilkinson v. Dai and Wilkinson v. Alcaraz-Enriquez, on the issue of when to treat asylum seekers' testimony as credible:
"In asylum cases before the immigration and federal courts, responsibility for making credibility determinations rests with the immigration judge. Immigration laws recognize that in asylum proceedings -- as in other contexts -- the trier of fact who directly hears a person's testimony can best assess their credibility. In some cases, however, IJs decline to make explicit credibility findings when denying asylum. On Tuesday, in Wilkinson v. Dai and Wilkinson v. Alcaraz-Enriquez, the Supreme Court will consider the permissibility of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit's approach to these circumstances: When immigration courts fail to make an explicit credibility determination, the 9th Circuit treats the asylum seeker's testimony as credible in its own review."
Eunice continued:
"Both the government on the one hand, and the asylum seekers and their amici on the other, contend that their positions follow the structure of REAL ID and give effect to the federal courts' limited scope of review. The government emphasizes deference to the agency decisions under a favorable standard of review, whereas the asylum seekers underscore the courts' limited review of given reasons under Chenery. In his majority opinion in Dai, [Judge Stephen] Reinhardt dissected the differences between federal appellate review of agency decisions compared to review of district court decisions. He cast the former as a modest enterprise in siding with Dai. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider the contours of this review in what is likely to be the last of the late judge's decisions before it."
In the second part of the series, Eunice provided an argument analysis, detailing the oral arguments from the Feb. 23 Supreme Court hearing:
"During oral argument, the justices and advocates parsed fine-grained differences between credibility, persuasiveness and truth. Their exploration delved deeply into the facts of both cases, as well as into a more light-hearted scenario involving cookie-eating children."
Eunice went on to write:
"The majority of the back-and-forth between the justices and advocates focused on granular factual and definitional issues. The justices seemed oft-unpersuaded by the distinctions between truth, persuasiveness and credibility drawn by the parties. Various hypotheticals and deep-dives into the evidence spurred somewhat unusual alliances, including a possible Thomas-Alito-Kagan-Barrett front against (in?)credible snacking children. Yet shared skepticism toward the parties' key positions left the justices' ultimate views on the 9th Circuit rule and the contours of federal review unclear."
Eunice will contribute the final article in the series following the Supreme Court decision.

In the News

The Arizona Republic, referencing the Innovation for Justice Program

Yahoo/US News & World Report, quoting professor Rob Williams

The Peter Chase Neumann Civil Justice Lecture has become one of the high profile events in our year, and added a series of unique voices about fairness and the pursuit of justice, today and over time. 
I heard Karen Korematsu give compelling commentary several years ago, and we were delighted when she accepted the invitation to give this year's Neumann Lecture.
Participation at our major lectures during this strange year has been wonderful -- both in scope, and in the steady and thoughtful questions posed to our speakers. Again, with Karen Korematsu, we will engage with some of the great issues of our time and all times. Join us!


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