U.S. SUPREME COURT DECIDES DUNCAN V. KAHANAMOKU–NO COURT-MARTIAL JURISDICTION OVER CIVILIANS IN WORLD WAR II
While former Olympic swimming great Duke Kahanamoku was a military police officer during World War II, he arrested Lloyd C. Duncan, a civilian shipfitter following a brawl with two armed Marine sentries at the Naval shipyard. 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 personnel despite the fact that civilian courts had begun conducting criminal trials on the island. Duncan appealed to the Supreme Court. In Duncan v. Kahanamoku, 327 U.S. 304 (1946), The court ruled that trial by military tribunal was, in this case, unconstitutional. Though not involving Japanese-American citizens, the decision is often associated with the Japanese exclusion cases because it involved wartime curtailment of fundamental civil liberties under the aegis of military authority.
Sources: “Duncan v. Kahanamoku, 327 U.S. 304 (1946),” Justicia. Retrieved 5/14/2021, Duncan v. Kahanamoku :: 327 U.S. 304 (1946) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center Wikipedia. Seal: Public Domain.