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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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The Habeas Corpus Cases

The Habeas Corpus Cases

Internment on Trial

(p.251) Chapter Thirteen The Habeas Corpus Cases
Bayonets in Paradise

Harry N. Scheiber

Jane L. Scheiber

University of Hawai'i Press

A series of challenges in the courts sought to invalidate the Army’s suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Initially, in the federal district court in Hawai`i, Judge Delbert Metzger declared that he was “under duress” by dint of the Army’s order and declined to hear the habeas petition of a German-American citizen, Hans Zimmerman, who had been arrested and interned on suspicion of disloyalty. Zimmerman appealed Metzger’s action to the U.S. Ninth Circuit court, which denied habeas relief but released Zimmerman rather than face the possibility of an adverse decision on appeal. In July 1943 Judge Metzger precipitated a crisis for the Army by reopening his court for habeas petitions and prompting a dramatic clash with General Robert Richardson. By this time, Justice Department attorney Edward Ennis was becoming convinced that the Supreme Court, given the case, would rule against the Army and possibly dismantle much of the martial law regime, so the petitioners were again released using the mooting tactic. Meanwhile, the territorial attorney general and Governor Stainback continued to demand a restoration of civil liberties, including at minimum review by the civilian courts of the legitimacy of the Army’s policies.

Keywords:   Hans Zimmerman, habeas corpus, Robert Richardson, Edward Ennis, Delbert Metzger, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, military necessity

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