Merryman Case: View Results of Your Choice

Yes, that’s what I did. I ignored Taney’s order and waited for events to justify my actions. As I told Congress on July 4, 1861, my primary duty as president was to suppress the rebellion so that the laws of the United States could be enforced in the South. Suspension of the writ was a vital weapon against rebellion. Were all the laws except this one to go unexecuted? The Congress later passed the Habeas Corpus Act, essentially endorsing my actions while providing a more limited framework for future suspensions. The Supreme Court never addressed my showdown with Taney.

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