This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Abraham Lincoln And The Suspension Of The Writ Of Habeas Corpus

1000 words - 4 pages

Seven slave states seceded from the Union once Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860. Four more states joined when hostilities first began to erupt between North and South. This conflict transformed into a bloody civil war, one that saw brothers fight against brothers, and cost over 600,000 American lives. President Lincoln was determined to preserve the Union and fight the rebels. In these efforts, President Lincoln abused his enumerated powers and violated one of the fundamental rights of the nation he was trying to preserve when he suspended the writ of habeas corpus and ignored the Supreme Court while unreasonably defending his own illegal actions.
The writ of habeas corpus is perhaps the most important right a citizen possesses. Sir William Blackstone, the author of young Lincoln’s revered Commentaries on the Laws of England, said “the writ of habeas corpus [is] the most celebrated writ in English law” . The writ guarantees someone imprisoned by the government an appearance before a court where a judge will determine if they have been lawfully detained. Once suspended, the government has no legal responsibility to confirm the cause of detainment. This writ can be thought of as “the fundamental safeguard against lawless and arbitrary state action” . The power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus exists plainly within the Constitution of the United States of America. In Article One, Section Nine, the Constitution simply states, “the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion of the public Safety may require it” . However, this clause never specified which branch of government was responsible for this suspension, and definitely did not insinuate this fell under Presidential powers enumerated in Article Two. Article One, generally speaking, describes the powers of Congress, not the President or the Judiciary. The framers of the Constitution gave this power only to Congress out of their collective fear of a despotic ruler like King George. Congress did in fact suspend the right of habeas corpus, but did so on March 3rd, 1863, two years after Lincoln. Therefore, at the time, President Lincoln acted illegally and unconstitutionally when he, not Congress, suspended the writ of habeas corpus.
On April 27th, 1861, President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland without limitations. There are numerous reasons why Lincoln suspended the writ in Maryland. The Maryland legislature was pro-slavery, and there was a serious threat that they would vote to secede. Lincoln did not want Washington, D.C. to be fully surrounded by the Confederacy. In essence, Lincoln illegally arrested his political opponents. Approximately one month after the suspension, federal troops arrested John Merryman for recruiting and training a company for Confederate service in Maryland. The writ was suspended, and Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the man who delivered the Dred Scott...

Find Another Essay On Abraham Lincoln and the Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus

The Myth of Abraham Lincoln Essay

1722 words - 7 pages showing just cause. Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus led to over 3,000 suspected “confederate sympathizers” and journalist in the north to be imprisoned. Now that we have without a shadow of a doubt provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Lincoln fits the first part of the definition above, let us move on to the second, “2 a : a ruler who exercises absolute power oppressively or brutally b : one resembling an oppressive ruler in the

The Life of Abraham Lincoln Essay

1388 words - 6 pages Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States. He is one of the most influential presidents in the history of the United States. He was also probably the best and most controlled president. He was a strong military and political leader and an even stronger debater. Without Honest Abe, our country would not be what it is today.Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky to parents Nancy

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

951 words - 4 pages The Assassination over Abraham Lincoln was kinda weird because the conspiracy of it. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865 by John Booth. He was assassinated at Penn Quater, Washington D.C. at Fords Theatre. He was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Lincoln was the 16th president and he was the tallest president to ever serve in office today 6’4”. He died at 7:22 a.m. He done a lot of wrestling to with his skinny

The Assasination of Abraham Lincoln

1473 words - 6 pages With every assassination there are hundreds of conspiracy theories as to what exactly happened. There is only one theory that is true however, the truth is never known. The amount of conspiracy theories for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln is too high to count, and although it has been over 145 years since the assassination, closure is still a while away. It is proven that John Booth assassinated Lincoln, but the conspiracies are who put him

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

1178 words - 5 pages Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America. He was elected into presidency on November 6, 1860. Many of the southern states were unsupportive of Lincoln becoming president because he had run on an anti-slavery platform. Lincoln being elected into presidency caused states such as South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas to split from the Union. In his inaugural address Lincoln

The Legacy Of Abraham Lincoln

772 words - 4 pages society of the United States. Another world leader whom I think is important is Abraham Lincoln, because he played a pivotal role in preserving the Union during the Civil War and beginning the process that led to the end of slavery in the United States As well as being known for his presidency and his leadership through the Civil War, Lincoln was also known for his letters and speeches and his character. Lincoln’s most famous speech was the Gettysburg

The Personas of Abraham Lincoln

1260 words - 6 pages Abraham Lincoln is perhaps one of the most interesting characters to have ever graced the American political arena and presidency. He is most noteworthy, obviously, for his role in saving the United States from its own destruction and the eradication of the vile Southern tradition of slavery. However, upon deeper inspection, one finds there was much more to Lincoln than his political achievements. Throughout his years as a politician, there's a

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

1991 words - 8 pages of America 19). Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States and perhaps one of the most hated presidents that ever served, this hatred for president Lincoln came from his options and actions regarding the nation’s conflict at the time; the Civil War, this came after the succession of fourteen southern states subsequently dividing the nation into Union and Confederates (Notes). The war was about reuniting the nation and that

Abraham Lincoln: Slavery and The End of the Civil War

801 words - 4 pages “I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.” Abraham Lincoln admired the declaration of independence and its founders. The Declaration of Independence was formed by the thirteen States of the confederacy. Represented by American liberty from each state. Twelve of these states where holders of slave. Abraham Lincoln legacy was for all men and women to be created

Habeas Corpus and War

1728 words - 7 pages during the Civil War with President Lincoln. Though he had many unpopular wartime policies, the suspension of habeas corpus stood out most. He took away the right and declared martial law (White, 2012). The first case which caused issues was that of John Merryman who was jailed for many crimes against the Union. Acts such as burning bridges used by reinforcements were seen by many confirming his guilt. When his case came before the Supreme Court

The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Abraham Lincoln

1770 words - 7 pages Abraham Lincoln served in many facets of the United States government and was also a respected lawyer in Illinois. He was best known for being elected as the 16th President of the United States of America. As president, Lincoln guided the United States through one of the worst times in American history, the Civil War. From the start of his political career, Lincoln was instrumental in his efforts and eventual success in ending slavery in America

Similar Essays

The Right Of Habeas Corpus And The War On Terror

1426 words - 6 pages Habeas Corpus It has been two hundred years since the ratification of the U. S. Constitution. The habeas corpus has only been officially suspended twice since its inception. In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the habeas corpus in Maryland and some Midwestern states due to riots and threats that Maryland would secede from the Union. The second suspension of habeas corpus took place in the early 1870’s when President Ulysses S. Grand

Habeas Corpus And The Use Of Military Tribunals

3664 words - 15 pages Habeas Corpus and the Use of Military Tribunals In America Under the Threat of Terrorism Introduction It was on this date one hundred forty two years ago (April 25, 1861), that President Abraham Lincoln sent a letter to Lt. General Winfield Scott authorizing the suspension of “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus” . Lincoln had been president for less than two months and was facing, what was up to that time and arguably may still

Habeas Corpus And The War On Terror

1785 words - 7 pages against the United States and it is enacted by the president when the necessity arises (Habeas Corpus Act of 1863. (2009). Given that this is a mandate from the president himself courts as well as judges who have issued a writ must suspend it until the president has resumed the use of habeas corpus. The habeas Corpus is a tradition that celebrates as liberties ultimately safeguard (Fallon Jr., R. H. (2010). Liberty when referring to imprisonment

Habeas Corpus And The War On Terror

1262 words - 6 pages can also be used for other such cases as deportation, immigration, and in military commissions to name a few. During the civil war, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the Habeas Corpus and rightfully so as the constitution dictates in Clause 2. Under the Constitution, the federal government can and unquestionably suspend the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus if the public safety requires it during the times of rebellion or invasion