Legislative Analysis
Phone: (517) 373-8080
House Bill 4018 as introduced Analysis available at
Sponsor: Rep. Sharon MacDonell http://www.legislature.mi.gov
Committee: Government Operations
Complete to 3-16-23
House Bill 4018 would amend 2003 PA 225 to designate January 30 of each year as “Fred
Korematsu Day” in recognition of Fred Korematsu’s contributions to civil rights. The bill
includes a brief description (lightly edited below) of his life, achievements, honors, and legacy:
Fred Korematsu was born to Japanese immigrant parents in Oakland, California, on
January 30, 1919, the third of four sons. He was one of the many American citizens of
Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast during World War II. Following the attack
on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy on December 7, 1941, President
Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 9066 on February 19, 1942.
The order authorized the Secretary of War and his military commanders to require all
Americans of Japanese ancestry to be placed in internment camps.
Fred Korematsu is known for his arrest, at the age of 23, on May 30, 1942, and his
conviction on September 8, 1942, for defying the government’s order to report to an
assembly center to be moved to an internment camp. He appealed his case all the way
to the United States Supreme Court. In the December 1944 landmark decision of
Korematsu v United States, the court ruled against him with a 6-to-3 decision that
declared that the incarceration was justified by the Army’s claims that Americans of
Japanese ancestry were radio-signaling enemy ships from shore and were prone to
Fred Korematsu later moved to Detroit, Michigan, where his younger brother resided.
There he met his wife, Kathryn, and the two wed before moving to California to raise
their children, Karen and Ken.
Fred Korematsu’s conviction was formally vacated on November 10, 1983, by United
States District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the United States District Court of Northern
California in San Francisco. This action, considered to be a pivotal moment in civil
rights history, cleared Fred Korematsu’s name but did not overturn the 1944 Supreme
Court decision.
Fred Korematsu remained an activist throughout his life. On February 9, 1989, he
spoke to 400 students, faculty, and former internees at the University of Michigan Law
School. He said, “America finally came through for me, but I don’t want this to happen
again.” In 1998, he received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal
of Freedom, from President Clinton. He served on the Constitution Project’s bipartisan
Liberty and Security Committee from 2001 until his death on March 30, 2005.
House Fiscal Agency Page 1 of 2
Fred Korematsu was recognized in 2010 when the state of California passed the Fred
Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution Bill, making January 30 of each
year the first day in United States history designated to honor an Asian American. Fred
Korematsu Day has also been recognized in Hawaii, Utah, Georgia, and Virginia.
The bill would take effect 90 days after being enacted.
Proposed MCL 435.304
The bill would have no fiscal impact on the state or local units of government.
Legislative Analyst: Rick Yuille
Fiscal Analyst: Michael Cnossen
■ This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency staff for use by House members in their
deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.
House Fiscal Agency HB 4018 as introduced Page 2 of 2

Statutes affected:
House Introduced Bill: 435.301, 435.303