Saturday, July 02, 2011

150 Years Ago -- Lincoln Expands Suspension of Habeas Corpus

On Tuesday, July 2, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln expands the suspension of the right of habeas corpus to include the area between Washington and New York City.

Lincoln's letter to General-in-chief Winfield Scott:
The COMMANDING GENERAL, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES:

You are engaged in suppressing an insurrection against the laws of the United States. If at any point on or in the vicinity of any military line which is now or which shall be used between the city of New York and the city of Washington you find resistance which renders it necessary to suspend the writ of habeas corpus for the public safety, you personally, or through the officer in command at the point where resistance occurs, are authorized to suspend that writ.

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at the city of Washington, this 2d day of July, A. D. 1861, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
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