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Ex Parte Quirin

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 317 U.S. 1.

Brief Fact Summary. Four enemies of war filed a habeas corpus to contest the right to a civil trial instead of a trial in front of a military tribunal.


Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Court will not set aside acts ordered by the President concerning acts of war, as that power is invested to the President under the Constitution


Facts.  Four men were captured on American soil and accused of acts in violation of the Articles of War. Under this act, their crimes are to be tried in front of a military tribunal and they were not afforded a trial in a civil court. A military tribunal trial does not afford a person all of the rights afforded under the United States Constitution. These four men were born in Germany and have all lived in the United States. They all received training at a school in Germany which taught explosive methods and secret writings. Each of the petitioners left Germany on boats in civilian clothing, and came to different coast in the United States. With explosives, they planned on retrieving secret information and were instructed to destroy the war industries and war facilities in the United States. The petitioners were caught on shore, and detained.


Issue. Whether a presidential order, which creates a military tribunal to try war crimes committed by war criminals/enemy belligerent’s instead of trying these cases in a civil court is constitutional


Content Type: Brief


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