Study Guide

Executive Order 9066: The President Authorizes Japanese Relocation Quotes

By Franklin Delano Roosevelt

  • Power

    Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104); (5)

    Power comes in many forms. Here, in this jumble of a sentence, FDR is relying on the power of legal history to back up his injunctions in E.O. 9066. Power in numbers, indeed.

    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 [...]. (6)

    "Hey, hey, I'm FDR. I'm the president. This is me doing a big, fancy presidential thing with my presidential powers."

    I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War 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. (9)

    The secretary of war and his commanders get a giant power bonus here when FDR tells them they can use federal troops and agencies to help them carry out plans for the military areas. What a boon! It's sort of like dating someone your same size and suddenly having your wardrobe double.

    I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order [...]. (10)

    FDR slings his weight around a bit more to get the rest of the government to help out the secretary of war with the E.O. 9066 stuff. Wonder how the other secretaries felt about that?

    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    The White House, (12-13)

    Just in case you missed it, this comes from the president. He hangs out in the White House. Where he spends time being the president.

  • Home

    Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in [...]. (5)

    When the going gets tough, the tough get paranoid.

    The Secretary of War 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 War or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. (7)

    They may have taken 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes, but at least they tried to make them feel at home. Okay, fine. A bottle of water and a tar-paper hut isn't exactly the Embassy Suites.

    I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War 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. (10)

    Here's some more of the accommodation talk. Why do you think it was so important for FDR to include this in his executive order?

    This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 8972, dated December 12, 1941 [...]. (11)

    Oh, yes. E.O. 8972, the order that increased military authority to protect the homeland. Don't forget that this paved the way for E.O. 9066 and the mass incarcerations that followed.

    [...] 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 Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies [...]. (11)

    This is one last thought about protecting the American home from enemy infiltration. Just for kicks, what are the "Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941," again?

  • Rights Versus Privilege

    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 War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate [...]. (6)

    Here's a good example of FDR claiming his right to grant the privilege of power to lower-ranking officials. Pay attention to how this hierarchy plays out in the text of E.O. 9066.

    [...] [the Secretary of War] 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 War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. (6)

    Things get a bit messy in this bit because it introduces a degree of arbitrariness. Even though we know the secretary of war and his commanders have been given the privilege of power, the extent of that privilege is unclear—especially when it comes to the rights of citizens.

    The Secretary of War 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 War or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. (7)

    At least some basic dignities are upheld, like the right to food and shelter, even if they put the "basic" in "basic civil rights."

    I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War 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. (9)

    Here, we have another instance of unchecked power on a much larger scale. The military areas seem like they could be run as their own tiny kingdoms, in a way.

    This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way [...] 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 Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas hereunder. (11)

    Note the role of the attorney general here, who's explicitly tied to his "duty" and has been granted neither the privilege of power nor the right to abandon his post.