Robert Takasugi (1930 – 2009)

Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, May 7, 1976 – August 4, 2009. Senior Status: September 30, 1996

Robert Takasugi was born on September 12, 1930, in Tacoma, Washington. Because he was of Japanese descent, his family was sent to an internment camp in Tule Lake, California following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Takasugi was 11 at the time, and his father passed away in the camp. 

Takasugi was nominated by President Ford to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in 1976. Takasugi began serving in 1976 until his death in 2009. He assumed senior status in 1996.  

Takasugi was known for his strong stance in defense of “individual rights and for working to expand the presence of women and minorities in the legal system”. Notable cases Takasugi worked on are the 1980 case that led to the Los Angeles Police Department banning chokeholds and when he threw out an indictment against several L.A. residents accused of fundraising for an Iranian opposition group listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department in 2002.


Bruce Weber, “R. M. Takasugi, Pioneering Asian Judge, Dies at 78 (Published 2009),” The New York Times, August 8, 2009, sec. U.S.,

Facebook et al., “Robert M. Takasugi Dies at 78; Japanese American Federal Judge Had Been Interned in World War II Relocation Camp,” Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2009,“Takasugi, Robert Mitsuhiro | Federal Judicial Center,”, 2020,

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