The Marshall Court (1801–35)


In what decision did the Marshall Court rule that the president has the ultimate authority to call out the militia and such orders cannot be reviewed by the judiciary?

The Marshall Court ruled unanimously in Martin v. Mott (1827) that Jacob Mott could not challenge his punishment for a court martial for refusing to join the militia when called during the War of 1812. Mott had been fined $96 and faced a one-year imprisonment. The Court, in an opinion written by Justice Joseph Story, said there could be no judicial review of the decision to call out the militia and determine whether it was the proper course of action. “While subordinate officers or soldiers are pausing to consider whether they ought to obey, or are scrupulously weighing the evidence of the facts upon which the commander in chief exercises the right to demand their services, the hostile enterprise may be accomplished without the means of resistance,” Story wrote.


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