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Legally Speaking

In conversation with UC Hastings Professor Joan C. Williams.

UC Hastings Professor Joan Williams welcomes U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for a conversation that touches on a broad range of subjects, from opera to marriage to work/life balance, doctrinal questions, and cases from the 1970's to present, including the court's role in establishing individual rights and equal protection. 
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"In Defense of Birthright Citizenship: The JACL, the NAACP, and Regan v. King" Wins AABANY Law Review Prize

Professor Greg Robinson, in collaboration with Chancellor & Dean Frank H. Wu, authored the award-winning law review article about an important voting-rights case that arose during the Japanese-American internment of World War II.

Greg Robinson is Professor of History at l'Université du Québec À Montréal, in Montreal, Canada, and one of the foremost scholars of Asian American Ethnic Studies in North America.

"In Defense of Birthright Citizenship: The JACL, the NAACP, and Regan v. King" was awarded the Asian American Bar Association of New York Law Review Prize, which includes a $2,000 disbursement and publication in the fall issue of the AABANY Law Review. The AABANY Law Review is a journal of legal scholarship that serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and inspires debate on matters of concern to the Asian-Pacific American community. Founded in 2011, it provides a means through which those interested in legal issues facing the Asian-Pacific American community can publish their work."

"This article is a wonderful example of interdisciplinary collaborations between legal scholars and historians," says Professor Robinson. "Regan v. King falls outside the usual narrative of law journal articles. It does not involve a new legal precedent or a shift in judicial interpretation. Instead, it is important for its role in fostering alliances for civil rights between Japanese Americans and African Americans, and what it tells us about larger social shifts."

"Regan v. King is an excellent example of the lost history of Asian Americans," agrees Dean Wu. "It was a significant case during World War II, testing the rights of native-born Japanese Americans. Their right to vote was challenged by an organization that argued they should be stripped of their citizenship. Japanese Americans prevailed, and they attracted the support of African Americans in their cause. The struggle to achieve legal equality includes many instances such as this, which are only now being documented."

"It was a great privilege to work with Dean Wu," Robinson continues. "He is intensely interested in history, especially in the stories of interactions between different groups. We complement each other well."

Dean Wu says he was delighted by the opportunity to collaborate with a scholar outside the traditional legal academy. "I was honored to work with Professor Robinson, the leading contemporary scholar of the internment, in uncovering this episode of our past."

Dean Wu is also a coauthor of the book Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment, the only course-book dedicated to Asian Americans and the law. The book is used widely as a casebook for law courses and as the text for graduate and undergraduate courses on Asian American Studies.

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