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Bayonets in ParadiseMartial Law in Hawai'i during World War II$
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Harry N. Scheiber and Jane L. Scheiber

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824852887

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824852887.001.0001

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War time Emergency Powers and Martial Law

(p.1) Introduction
Bayonets in Paradise

Harry N. Scheiber

Jane L. Scheiber

University of Hawai'i Press

Immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack, habeas corpus was suspended, martial law was declared, and the entire population of Hawai`i was placed under a regime of military control of civilian life that lasted until October 1944. The scope and duration of this military regime were unprecedented in American history, yet this is a largely forgotten episode. This book seeks to tell its story, to discuss the constitutional issues involved, and to explore why the Army generals, with the approval of the Roosevelt Administration, continued to disregard the cherished tradition of the supremacy of law long after the danger of invasion had passed. The Army argued that “military necessity” justified its curtailment of civil liberties, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Duncan v. Kahanamoku (1946) that the Army had exceeded its statutory authority. The issues of safeguarding civil liberties when national security is threatened remain as relevant today as they were during World War II.

Keywords:   martial law, military government, Milligan, Organic Act, civil liberties, military necessity, Duncan v. Kahanamoku

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