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Ableman v. Booth and United States v. Booth

Significance, Joshua Glover Is Saved From The Slave Catchers, Wisconsin Nullifies Federal Laws, Federal Courts Are Supreme Over State Courts


Jeremiah S. Black, U.S. Attorney General; Stephen Ableman


Sherman Booth

Petitioners' Claim

Booth, who had been freed by the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, should serve the sentence imposed by a federal court.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioners

Jeremiah S. Black

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

No counsel appeared for the respondent.

Justices for the Court

John Archibald Campbell, John Catron, Nathan Clifford, Peter Vivian Daniel, Robert Cooper Grier, John McLean, Samuel Nelson, Roger Brooke Taney (writing for the Court), James Moore Wayne

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

7 March 1859


A state court cannot grant a writ of habeas corpus to a prisoner arrested under the authority of the United States and in federal custody.

Related Cases

  • Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1856).




Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1833 to 1882