Duncan v. Kahanamoku

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Duncan v. Kahanamoku
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued December 7, 1945
Decided February 25, 1946
Full case nameDuncan v. Duke Kahanamoku, Sheriff
Citations327 U.S. 304 (more)
66 S. Ct. 606; 90 L. Ed. 688
Case history
PriorEx parte Duncan, 146 F.2d 576 (9th Cir. 1944); cert. granted, 324 U.S. 833 (1945).
The trial by military tribunal that convicted Duncan was unconstitutional.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Harlan F. Stone
Associate Justices
Hugo Black · Stanley F. Reed
Felix Frankfurter · William O. Douglas
Frank Murphy · Robert H. Jackson
Wiley B. Rutledge · Harold H. Burton
Case opinions
MajorityBlack, joined by Reed, Douglas, Murphy, Rutledge
DissentBurton, joined by Frankfurter
Jackson took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Duncan v. Kahanamoku, 327 U.S. 304 (1946), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court. It is often associated with the Japanese exclusion cases (Hirabayashi v. United States, Korematsu v. United States and Ex parte Endo) because it involved wartime curtailment of fundamental civil liberties under the aegis of military authority,[1] though in this case neither the plaintiff nor the nominal defendant were Japanese.

While Duke Kahanamoku was a military police officer during World War II, he arrested Lloyd C. Duncan, a civilian shipfitter on February 24th, 1944, following a brawl with two armed Marine sentries at the yard. At the time, Hawaii, not yet a state, was being administered under the Hawaiian Organic Act which effectively instituted martial law on the island, tightened after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Duncan was tried and convicted by a military tribunal for assault on military or naval personnel with intent to resist or hinder them in the discharge of their duty, despite civilian courts at the time having restarted summoning jurors and witnesses and conducting criminal trials on the island; Duncan appealed to the Supreme Court. The court ruled that trial by military tribunal was, in this case, unconstitutional.

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Further reading[edit]

  • Anthony, J. Garner (1947). "Hawaiian Martial Law in the Supreme Court". Yale Law Journal. The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 57, No. 1. 57 (1): 27–54. doi:10.2307/793363. JSTOR 793363.

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