Opinion of Chief Justice Taney, in the Case of Ex Parte John Merryman, Applying for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. New Orleans, LA: George Ellis, 1861. Printed booklet with paper cover, 18pp, 5.75 x 9.75 in.
During his tenure as Chief Justice, Roger B. Taney (1777-1864) played an integral role in several important Supreme Court decisions. Born to a prosperous family of tobacco growers in Maryland, Taney studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1799. He was nominated to the Supreme Court by Andrew Jackson and sworn in as chief justice in March of 1836. Among the cases heard by the Taney Court (1836-1864) were Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge, (1837), Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), and perhaps most famously, Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857). After the start of the Civil War, Taney remained on the US Supreme Court, rather than joining its counterpart in the Confederacy. In 1861, Taney wrote an opinion opposing President Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, following the imprisonment of secessionist John Merryman. Lincoln ignored Taney’s decision, however, issuing his own explanation for his actions to Congress in July.
Covers with brittleness, toning, soiling, and wear to edges/corners, including some tearing and loss, particularly to back cover. Pages with toning and staining, as well as holes to upper right corners of pp 3-18.
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