Ex parte Merryman

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Merryman, ex parte,

case decided in 1861 by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney sitting as a federal circuit judge in Baltimore. John Merryman, a citizen of Maryland, was imprisoned by the U.S. army on suspicion of favoring the Confederacy. He obtained a writ of habeas corpushabeas corpus
[Lat.,=you should have the body], writ directed by a judge to some person who is detaining another, commanding him to bring the body of the person in his custody at a specified time to a specified place for a specified purpose.
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. The commanding general refused to respect this action, alleging that President Lincoln had authorized him to suspend the writ. Taney held that Article 1, Section 9, of the U.S. Constitution gave to Congress alone the power to suspend the writ in case of rebellion or invasion and that consequently the President's action had been without warrant and represented a threat to the liberties of all Americans. Lincoln, however, continued to adhere to the same practice throughout the Civil War. Congress ratified the suspension in 1863.


See H. S. Commager, ed., Documents of American History (8th ed. 1968).

References in periodicals archive ?
If they deal with legal issues at all, most Lincoln biographies and general histories of the Civil War era focus on the president's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and the resulting litigation in Ex parte Merryman, Ex parte Vallandigham, and Ex parte Milligan.
His actions brought him into personal and professional conflict with Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney, who declared Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus illegal in Ex Parte Merryman, a decision Lincoln essentially ignored.
Those individuals will be apprehended, tried, and punished by a military commission, which is clearly contrary to the Supreme Court's holding in Ex parte Merryman.
Moreover, the ruling of the Supreme Court in Ex parte Merryman appears to make the military order unconstitutional for resident aliens who are deemed by the President to be subject to the order.
33) When the dispatched marshal was refused entrance at the fort, Taney wrote his famous opinion in Ex parte Merryman.
56) While this has only occurred once, in Ex parte Merryman, the potential for executive rejection exists.
The author covers Abraham Lincoln's actions during the American Civil War and the landmark cases Ex parte Merryman (1861) and Ex parte Milligan (1866).