Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 9/29/14: Suspension of Habeas Corpus

The first suspension of habeas corpus in the U.S. was by Abraham Lincoln in April 1861 in order to protect a railroad route between Annapolis and Philadelphia which pro-Confederate forces were threatening to destroy. His action was overturned by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Maryland in Ex Parte Merryman, led by Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Lincoln’s Attorney General ignored the judicial decision.


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