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Ex Parte Milligan - Ex Parte Milligan 1863-64 Case Outline...

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Ex Parte Milligan – 1863-64 Case Outline Overview: During the Civil War, Lambdin P Milligan, a citizen of Indiana, joined the Confederate army faction: “the Sons of Liberty,” and was promoted to “major general.” Milligan and his comrades planned to raid military prisons in the Midwest and release Confederate prisoners of war. Before this could be executed, President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in the area and Milligan was arrested by federal troops, tried, and sentenced to death by lynching. The case went to the Supreme Court. Mr. Justice Davis delivered the opinion of the Court…. Justice Davis notes that the Civil War was a time of national emergency and that the public safety was of greater concern than that of the case at hand. o “…the temper of the times did not allow that calmness in deliberation and discussion so necessary to a correct conclusion of a purely judicial question.” Justice Davis notes that Indiana was not one of the rebellious states and that Milligan was arrested and tried by a tribunal that had no legal power or authority to try and punish him. o “it is the birthright of every American citizen when charged with crime to be tried and punished according to law.” o “… The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances.” Justice Davis notes that no doctrine had ever been created to allow the suspension of any right given to men by the Constitution. o Justice Davis states that all trials involve judicial power and that the military tribunal that tried Milligan did not have any right to possess judicial power.
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