Supreme Court Cases of the American Civil War

From Academic Kids

A number of cases were tried before the Supreme Court of the United States during the period of the American Civil War. These cases focused on wartime civil liberties, and the ability of the various branches of the government to alter them. The following cases were among the most significant.

Pre-war

  • Ex Parte Bollman (1807) was an early case that made many important arguments about the power of the Supreme Court, as well as the constitutional definition of treason.

During the war

Post-war

  • In Ex Parte Milligan (1866), the Supreme Court led by Chase ruled that, so long as local civilian courts are open, citizens may not be tried by military tribunals. It further observed that, during the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, citizens may only be held without charges, not tried, and certainly may not be executed by military tribunals.
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