Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt promulgated an executive order aimed at preventing espionage and sabotage. It authorized the creation of military zones in which the rights of people to enter, remain, or leave could be restricted by the Secretary of War. Another executive order established the War Relocation Authority, an agency empowered to remove people from designated areas for reasons of national security. This was followed by an act of Congress imposing civil penalties for violations of orders or restrictions issued under the authority granted by the executive orders. Mitsuye Endo (plaintiff) was a Japanese American citizen who was sent to an internment camp. She petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that she was a loyal, law-abiding citizen and that she was being unlawfully detained. The petition was denied by the district court.