(LOS ANGELES, CA, 9/15/09) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today issued a statement on the passing of Judge Robert M. Takasugi, who was appointed in 1976 to the Central District of California and was the first Japanese American to become a federal judge.
Prior to becoming a district court judge, he served as a judge in the municipal and superior courts in Los Angeles. He passed away on August 4, 2009.
Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area (CAIR-LA) said:
“Judge Takasugi was a great force in challenging the undemocratic policies of our time, and was a courageous hero and leader of the civil rights movement. His death is a great loss to our country, especially to those who struggle for equal civil rights for all Americans.”
Judge Takasugi made difficult decisions from the bench that ensured protection of civil liberties and constitutional freedoms. He drew on his own experiences of being a Japanese American and being rounded up and detained in an internment camp during WWII.
Judge Takasugi was one of the first judges to issue an opinion overhauling a portion of the Patriot Act in 2002. He said the law classifying terrorist groups deprived the defendants of due process rights because they were not given a chance to rebut the terrorist allegations before their group was placed on the list.
His most enduring legacy has been the mentorship and support of countless law students and young lawyers, including through pro-bono bar preparation and through the creation of the Robert Takasugi Public Interest Fellowship.
The fellowship has worked to carry on Judge Takasugi’s influence, independence, courage, and vision of equal justice.
You can donate to and apply for the fellowship here.
CONTACT: Affad Shaikh, CAIR-LA Civil Rights Manager, 714-776-1847, email@example.com