Paludan goes on to state that even when military tribunals were used, they followed constitutional procedures such as allowing the accused to confront the witnesses against him. But the government left no doubt that it could “legally fight a war for survival,” Paludan says
Habeas Corpus Suspension Act
Whereas, it has become necessary to call into service not only volunteers but also portions of the militia of the States by draft in order to suppress the insurrection existing in the United States, and disloyal persons are not adequately restrained by the ordinary processes of law from hindering this measure and from giving aid and comfort in various ways to the insurrection;
Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Civil War: Definition & Suspension
By December 1862, Congress was able to vote on an official suspension of habeas corpus. This time, Congress prevailed by passing the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act, signed into law March 3, 1863. This piece of legislation gave the president the power to officially suspend habeas corpus without the direct consent of Congress*. Lincoln had achieved a great strategic victory in attempting to suppress the rebellion. The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was eventually terminated in December 1865 by President Andrew Johnson.
To President Bush’s support for the law — the Military Commissions Act of 2006 — and its suspension of writs of habeas corpus, Jonathan Turley, professor of constitutional law at George Washington University stated, "What, really, a time of shame this is for the American system.
On May 28, 1861, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney directly challenged President Abraham Lincoln’s wartime suspension of the great writ of habeas corpus, in a national constitutional showdown.
The Great Writ, North and South
During the Civil War both the federal and Confederate governments had to deal with a pressing question far from the battlefield: how to balance the rights enshrined in their respective constitutions against effectively fighting the war.
Lincoln, Habeas Corpus and the Suspension of Civil Liberties During the Civil War: The Exhibit
This interactiveguide exploring Lincoln, habeas corpus and the suspension of civil liberties during the Civil War is meant to complement the exhibit of the Lincoln: the Constitution and the Civil War by highlighting the resources available on this issue at the Pace Law Library.
Even though habeas corpus petitions are rarely successful, they are, nevertheless, a crucial component of how our government works. The importance of habeas corpus was stressed during the Civil War, when it was taken away.