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[410] be rebellion, and the public safety must require the suspension. When Congress finds these facts to exist, it can enact the suspension. It is the judgment of Congress alone that can determine that the public safety requires the suspension. This cannot be delegated to the judgment of any other department of the government. Therefore, when Congress tells the President, in the abovementioned act, that he is authorized to suspend the privilege of this writ whenever, in his judgment, the public safety may require it, then that body undertakes to do that for which it has no authority in the Constitution. The states delegated the power solely to Congress; an act to transfer the trust to any other depository could rightfully have no force whatever.

The state of New York, in which this writ was thus suspended by the government of the United States, was one of the Northern states and a most ardent advocate of the Union. It had contributed more men and money to support the government of the United States than any other state, and than some whole sections of states. Peace reigned throughout all its borders. Yet, in this quiet and ‘loyal’ state, whose people had given so freely to aid the government of the United States, a claim was now set up to the right to nullify the rights and immunities of every citizen, by that government which had already nullified the powers of every court in the state. This was done by the declaration of the President that ‘the public safety’ required the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

The act of Congress was passed on March 3, 1863, and on September 15th the President issued his proclamation, and, referring to the authority claimed to have been granted by the act, he proceeded to say:

Whereas, In the judgment of the President, the public safety does require that the privilege of said writ shall now be suspended throughout the United States, in cases where, by the authority of the President of the United States, military, naval, and civil officers of the United States, or either of them, hold persons under their custody, either as prisoners of war, spies, or aiders or abettors of the enemy, or officers, soldiers, or seamen, enrolled, drafted, or mustered, or enlisted in, or belonging to, the land or naval forces of the United States, or as deserters therefrom, or otherwise amenable to military law, or to the rules or articles of war, or the rules and regulations prescribed for military and naval service by the authority of the President of the United States, or for resisting a draft, or for any other offense against the military or naval service: Therefore I do hereby proclaim and make known that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended throughout the United States in the several cases before mentioned throughout the duration of said rebellion.

No autocrat ever issued an edict more destructive of the natural right to personal liberty. Not only was the state government of New York

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