Today in legal history...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus

On April 27, 1861, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland and parts of several midwestern states during the American Civil War. Lincoln took this action to address drafts riots and the threat of secession by Union states bordering the Confederacy. The President maintained his suspension even after it was overturned by federal judiciary in Ex parte Merryman 17 F.Cas. 144 (1861).

Read "Lincoln and Habeas Corpus" from the University of California at Long Beach.

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