The next day Roger Brooke Taney
, chief justice
of the Supreme court of the United States
, assigned to the fourth circuit, of which Maryland
formed a part, issued the writ of habeas corpus to General Cadwallader
, commanding at Fort McHenry
, requiring him to produce the body of Merryman
before the circuit court of the United States
for the district of Maryland, at Baltimore
, on Monday, May 27th.
The chief justice issued the writ on Sunday!
On Monday Colonel Lee
, aidede-camp to General Cadwallader
, appeared in the court and said that General Cadwallader
's other engagements prevented his appearing in person, but had sent him to express the general's regrets and read the chief justice a letter, which the aide proceeded to do. The general said that Merryman
had been arrested for open and avowed hostility to the United States
, and that he had been authorized by the President of the United States to suspend the writ of habeas corpus
in such cases, which he had done.
The chief justice ordered an attachment to issue against General Cadwallader
and sent the marshal of the court to arrest the general and bring him before the Court
Upon the marshal's proceeding to Fort McHenry
with a few deputy marshals he sent in his card and official designation through the sentry at the gate to the commanding officer
After a reasonable time the messenger came back with the message that there was no answer to the marshal's card and that he would not be permitted to enter the fort.
The marshal made return of these facts to the court, and the chief justice directed the clerk to make an entry on the record of the court that the writ of habeas corpus having been disobeyed by General Cadwallader
, an attachment for contempt had issued against him, which he had resisted, having a superior force at his command to any which the court or its marshal could control, and he subsequently filed his opinion in the case, in which he demonstrated beyond a cavil that the President
of the United States
has and can have no authority at