Lorraine K. Bannai is a Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law. After earning her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, Professor Bannai joined what is now the San Francisco firm of Minami Tamaki. While there, she served on the legal team that successfully challenged Fred Korematsu’s World War II conviction for refusing to comply with orders that resulted in the forced removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.

Professor Bannai has written and spoken widely on the wartime Japanese American incarceration and its present-day relevance. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and co-authored amicus briefs on behalf of the children of Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui on the continuing lessons of the incarceration.

Articles, Publications, and Appearances

Member, Legal Team, Korematsu v. United States, 584 F. Supp. 1406 (N.D. Cal. 1984).

Co-authored Amicus Brief on behalf of the children of Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui in Hedges v. Obama, Nos. 12-3176, 12-3644, 2012 WL 6622648 (2d Cir. 2012).

Eric K. Yamamoto, Lorraine K. Bannai, and Margaret Chon, Race, Rights and National Security: Law and the Japanese American Internment (3d ed. Wolters Kluwer 2021).

Lorraine K. Bannai, Korematsu Overruled? Far From It: The Supreme Court Reloads the Loaded Weapon, 16 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 897 (2018).

Lorraine K. Bannai, Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice (2015).

Recipient: 2016 Norris & Carole Hundley Award

Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association and 2016 Scribes Book Award

Honorable Mention, Scribes: The American Society of Legal Writers.

Lorraine K. Bannai, Taking the Stand: The Lessons of Three Men Who Took the Japanese American Internment to Court, 4 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 1 (2005).

Lorraine K. Bannai & Dale Minami, Internment during World War II and Litigations, in Asian Americans and the Supreme Court: A Documentary History 755-88 (H. Kim, ed. Greenwood Press 1992).


Lorraine K. Bannai, 80 Years After Executive Order 9066, the Supreme Court Still Shuts Its Eyes to Reality, Just Security, Feb. 18, 2022.

Testimony before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, opposing provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act that permit indefinite detention without due process, Washington, D.C., Feb. 29, 2012.

Testimony before the Congressional Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, on civil rights violations attendant to the WWII Japanese American incarceration, San Francisco, California, 1980.

Interviewed, FACEism: President Reagan’s apology for the US internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, KABC-TV, October 17. 2020.

Commentator, Radiolab Presents: More Perfect – American Pendulum I, Korematsu v. United States, Oct. 2, 2017.

Panelist, Civil Rights & Racial Healing: Examining the History and Future of Reparations in America, Asian American Bar Association of Houston, Houston, TX, Feb. 18, 2022.

Constitution Day Address, Anti-Asian Hate: History, Law, Culture, and Coalition-Building, Stockton University, New Jersey, Sept. 21, 2021.

Panelist, Redress, Reparations, & Reconciliation in the Black Community: The Role AAPIs Play in Allyship, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Convention, November 7, 2020.

Speaker, Race, Rights, and National Security, APAICS in Conversation, the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, Oct. 29, 2020.