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Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 67 U.S. 635

Brief Fact Summary. Union ships pursuant to President Lincoln’s April 1861 Order declared a blockade of southern ports seized ships carrying goods to the Confederate States.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. It is the Congressional prerogative “to declare war”ť under Article , Section: 8, Clause 11. However, the President has the ability to take action when attacked.


Facts. In April 1861 President Lincoln declared a blockade of southern ports. Pursuant to this blockade in May and July 1861, Union ships seized Confederate merchant vessels and cargoes of foreign neutrals and residents of the southern states. The ships were condemned by federal court order. The owners of the ships and cargo appealed.

Issue. Did President Lincoln have the authority to institute a blockade of southern ports?
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