The Chase Court (1864–73)


How did the Court rule in Ex Parte Milligan with regard to a president and habeas corpus?

No. In his opinion, Justice Davis specifically stated that in times of war and emergency, a president may have to suspend habeas corpus. Davis explained: “It is essential to the safety of every government that, in a great crisis, like the one we have just passed through, there should be a power somewhere of suspending the writ of habeas corpus…. In the emergency of the times, an immediate public investigation according to law may not be possible; and yet, the peril to the country may be too imminent to suffer such persons to go at large.”

U.S. Supreme Court justice Stephen J. Field. Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

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