CourtSpeak: Martin v. Mott
Presidential Authority over Militia Case (1827)

Decisions Read more from
Chapter The Marshall Court (1801–35)

Justice Joseph Story (unanimous): “Is the President the sole and exclusive judge whether the exigency has arisen, or is it to be considered as an open question, upon which every officer to whom the orders of the President are addressed, may decide for himself, and equally open to be contested by every militia-man who shall refuse to obey the orders of the President? We are all of opinion, that the authority to decide whether the exigency has arisen, belongs exclusively to the President, and that his decision is conclusive upon all other persons. We think that this construction necessarily results from the nature of the power itself, and from the manifest object contemplated by the act of Congress.”


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