Today President Obama decided to take unilateral action to bring a divided nation together on the issue of civil rights. Pointing to the emergency precipitated by Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s signing of RFRA and citing the legal precedent establish in Korematsu v. United States, the President said he is taking unilateral action to ensure the safety of both gay and Christian Americans.
Korematsu v. United States was brought by Fred T. Korematsu, a Nisei (an American-born person whose parents were born in Japan). Korematsu had been arrested by the FBI for failing to report for relocation and was convicted in federal court in September 1942. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a sharply divided 6–3 decision, upheld Korematsu’s conviction in late 1944. The majority opinion, written by Justice Hugo Black, rejected the plaintiff’s discrimination argument and upheld the government’s right to relocate citizens in the face of wartime emergency.
The President issued the following executive order, saying it was a temporary measure pending action by Congress.
Executive Order No. 9066
Authorizing the Department of Homeland Security to Prescribe Military Areas
Whereas it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love.
And Whereas it doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight.
The successful protection of the rights of the American people to love each other as they see fit requires every possible protection against bigotry and equal access to marriage rights for all as will be adjudicated once and for all in 2015 by the Supreme Court of The United States in Obergefell v. Hodges, to wit:
1) whether the states are required to grant equal marriage rights to same-sex couples and
2) if can states be required to recognize existing same-sex marriages performed in other states for residents of a state that bans such unions.
Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of Homeland Security or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of Homeland Security is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of Homeland Security or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designations of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Presidential Interview of May 9, 2012, The Justice Department Memo of February 10, 2014 and The Attorney General’s Memorandum To The President June 20, 2014 and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the aforementioned Executive Actions in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.
I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of Homeland Security and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area hereinabove authorized to be designated, including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.
I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of Homeland Security or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and services.
This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 13087, dated May 28, 1998, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with respect to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or the duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under The Justice Department Memo of February 10, 2014, prescribing regulations for the implementation of the Supreme Court’s historic decision in United States v. Windsor, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas hereunder.
The White House,
April 1, 2015.
[F.R. Doc. 42–1563; Filed, April 1, 2105; 05:51 a.m.]
Source: Executive Order No. 9066, April 1, 2015.