\mˈɪlɪɡənz kˈe͡ɪs], \mˈɪlɪɡənz kˈeɪs], \m_ˈɪ_l_ɪ_ɡ_ə_n_z k_ˈeɪ_s]\
Definitions of MILLIGAN'S CASE
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A case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1866. This case involved the right of a citizen to demand a writ of habeas corpus under particular circumstances. In October, 1864, during the Civil War, Milligan was brought before a military commission convened at Indianapolis by General Hovey. He was tried and sentenced to death for participation in rebellious schemes. By the Habeas Corpus Act of Congress, 1863, lists were to be furnished in each State of persons suspected of violating national laws. But any such persons, arrested and no indictment found against them by the Circuit Court, should be freed on petition verified by oath. Milligan was not indicted by the Circuit Court. He objected to the authority of the military commission and sued for a writ of habeas corpus in the Circuit Court. There was a division of opinion and the case came before the Supreme Court in 1866. That body decided that the writ should be issued and the prisoner discharged. Regarding the military commission, it was maintained that such power of erecting military jurisdictions remote from the seat of war was not vested in Congress, and that it could not be exercised in this particular case; that the prisoner, a civilian, was exempt from the laws of war and could only be tried by a jury; and finally, that the writ of habeas corpus could not be suspended constitutionally, though the privilege of that writ might be.
By John Franklin Jameson