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Ex parte Milligan

Significance, Further Readings


Lambdin P. Milligan


United States

Petitioner's Claim

A military commission was not a competent tribunal for the trial of the petitioner, a military commission may not try nor convict him, and the petitioner should be released.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

J. S. Black, J. E. McDonald, J. A. Garfield, David Dudley Field, A. L. Roache, John R. Coffuth

Chief Lawyers for Respondent

James Speed; Henry Stanbery, U.S. Attorney General; Benjamin F. Butler

Justices for the Court

Salmon Portland Chase, Nathan Clifford, David Davis (writing for the Court), Stephen Johnson Field, Robert Cooper Grier, Samuel Freeman Miller, Samuel Nelson, Noah Haynes Swayne, James Moore Wayne

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

3 April 1866


The trial of Milligan on charges of treason and conspiracy, was found to be illegal because it was conducted by a military court.

Related Cases

  • Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).
  • Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942).

Additional topics

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