Unconstitutional law is not valid law


In "Ignoring Laws", the editor suggests that "laws ... created following the procedures outlined in the state constitution" should be followed until changed again, by following those same procedures. But what of laws that are unconstitutional?

Laws were followed when my widowed grandmother, raising two young children, had her bank accounts seized. Laws were followed when she, my aunt, and my father were removed from their home; the only possessions they were allowed to keep were those they were physically able to carry. Laws were followed when men in my grandmother's community were rounded up, hauled off, and kept incommunicado.

Did this occur this Nazi Europe? No. It happened in California in 1942. My grandmother's crime? Being Japanese, legally living in the United States after Pearl Harbor. My aunt's and father's crime? Being American citizens of Japanese ancestry.

The crime of the men who were hauled off? Being perceived leaders because their vocations or interests caused them to be acquainted with many people in the community. "Leaders," such as men active in the equivalent of a Kiwanis Club, Elks Lodge, Cattlemen's or Farmers' Association, or Chamber of Commerce.

Because the law was followed, more than 100,000 people lost most of their worldly possessions and some lost their loved ones in this travesty. How big was the actual threat caused by this group of legal immigrants and their children who held American citizenship? Not one on the U.S. mainland. Only one instance of disloyalty was found, when two Japanese living on a remote Hawaiian Island aided a downed Japanese Air Force pilot.

The editor fails to acknowledge that while the legislature followed proper procedure, they failed to follow the Constitution.

I am truly grateful for Sheriff Spruell and the County Sheriffs of Colorado for their courageous and well-thought out stance on recent gun control legislation. When legislatures, governors (Hickenlooper), presidents (Roosevelt in Executive Order 9066), or U.S. Supreme Courts (Korematsu v. United States (1944)) make bad law, many innocent people are irreparably harmed.

Unconstitutional law is not valid law and should not be followed.

Pat Requena


Via email