Some who concurred in 'worst single violation of civil rights'

Franklin D. Roosevelt and John J. McCloy had a lot of company in their emotional response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and their fear the US mainland might be invaded with the help of resident Japanese.

The late Chief Justice of the US Earl Warren, who was attorney general of California in 1942 and running (successfully) for governor, strongly supported the presidential order requiring evacuation of Japanese people from the coast. Biographer Jack Harrison Pollack wrote in ''Earl Warren: The Judge Who Changed America'': ''There was nothing in his early life that . . . Warren regretted more poignantly.''

And Walter Lippmann, the most influential journalist in America, journeyed to the West Coast in the wake of the Japanese attack, was briefed by Gen. John L. DeWitt, and warned his readers that the Pacific Coast was in ''imminent danger of a combined attacked from within and from without.'' In ''Walter Lippmann and the American Century,'' Ronald Speel records that Lippmann's alarm led him to declare that the entire coast must be considered a ''combat zone under special rules.''

The American Civil Liberties Union, which will file a ''friend of the court'' brief in the new case, charged at the time that the resettlement order was the ''worst single violation of civil rights of American citizens in our history.''

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