• Last updated on November 11, 2022

During World War II, the Supreme Court allowed the execution of German saboteurs who had been convicted by a military court.

Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone wrote the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court, upholding a specially established military commission’s conviction and execution of seven German saboteurs. Ex parte Milligan (1866) had held that military commissions could not be used if the civilian courts were functioning, but Milligan, unlike the saboteurs, was a U.S. citizen never declared to be an “enemy belligerent.” Therefore, the Court refused to grant the seven saboteurs’ request for a writ of habeas corpus, upheld their conviction for uncodified international law violations and the congressional articles of war, and opened the way for execution of six of the men about a week later.Habeas corpus[Habeas corpus]

Civil War

Duncan v. Kahanamoku

Foreign affairs and foreign policy

Habeas corpus

Korematsu v. United States

Martin v. Mott

Milligan, Ex parte

Presidential powers

Categories: History