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The body of John Merryman; Abraham Lincoln and the suspension of habeas corpus.

9780674061552

The body of John Merryman; Abraham Lincoln and the suspension of habeas corpus.

McGinty, Brian.

Harvard University Press

2011

253 pages

$29.95

Hardcover

KF223

Following the refusal of the executive branch to honor his writ of habeas corpus ("have the body") to produce pro-Southern Marylander John Merryman in his courtroom from his imprisonment in Fort McHenry in the early months of the US Civil War, US Chief Justice Roger Taney issued a ruling finding President Abraham Lincoln in violation of his constitutional duties, as only Congress had the power to suspend the writ. Lincoln refused to heed the ruling, deeming it uncontrolling of executive powers. This volume reconstructs the legal struggle between Taney and Lincoln over the writ of habeas corpus, a struggle with particular relevance today, as President Obama asserts the executive's right to suspend the writ in pursuit of the "war on terror" even as the Supreme Court has earlier echoed Taney's position in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Feb 1, 2012
Words:168
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