However, Congress has imposed restrictions on federal courts' authority to overrule state courts in this manner.When an inmate is not challenging the fact of being in jail but rather the conditions of confinement -- for instance, claiming severe mistreatment or unlawful prison policies -- it is usually necessary to file a civil rights complaint instead of a habeas corpus petition.Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, inmates contesting conditions generally must first attempt to resolve the matter through available grievance procedures, so that correctional officials have an opportunity to remedy problems before litigation.
In the 143 years since the end of the Civil War, historians have examined Abraham Lincoln and his conduct of the war in great and at times excruciating depth.
Lincoln's power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus was extensively explored during the Civil War, but since then his suspensions have escaped detailed scrutiny despite the controversy they provoked, their widespread and effective use to combat malignant opposition to the war, and their uncertain grounding in the Constitution.
Criminal defendants are always entitled to appeal a conviction or sentence to a higher court, which then reviews the trial judge's rulings.
Habeas corpus provides a separate avenue for challenging imprisonment, and is normally used after a direct appeal has failed.
Permission to reproduce and distribute journal material for academic courses and/or coursepacks may be obtained from the Copyright Clearance Center (
For more information, read Michigan Publishing's access and usage policy.In many countries, authorities may take citizens and incarcerate them for months or years without charging them. Constitution wanted to prohibit this kind of abuse of power in the new United States.Those imprisoned have no legal means to protest or challenge the imprisonment. Therefore, they included a specific clause in the Constitution to safeguard the right, known as habeas corpus.Habeas corpus has deep roots in English common law.Often, the court holds a hearing on the matter, during which the inmate and the government can both present evidence about whether there is a lawful basis for jailing the person.C., ran through Maryland, with the railroads running through Baltimore.Baltimore was a rough city for the Union, and Maryland an uncertain ally.The crisis Lincoln faced and the stature he has achieved make it easy for historians to justify his actions without examining them.If a president has the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, his power exists only in the event of rebellion or invasion, neither of which is likely to occur, so why burden history with musty law? All accounts of Lincoln's presidency discuss the habeas corpus suspensions, of course, and many of them take sides for or against Lincoln, but the constitutional issue is not considered in detail.This scholarly inattention is surprising, but there are a number of possible explanations.Probing the constitutional validity of the suspensions requires a textual analysis of the Constitution that is more congenial to lawyers than to scholars.