Was Abraham Lincoln Justified Essay

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The constitution of the United States is justifiably built just as much for war as it is for peace. This can be seen during 1861, the midst of the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln was faced with national security challenges that no American president had been confronted with before. Lincoln was put in a position that required him to walk a fine line between civil liberties and national securities. Some argue that Lincoln is one of the top presidents this nation has seen, yet others argue that the action to suspend habeas corpus eradicated him from that pedestal. Since the peak of the Civil War, historians have dissected and debated president Lincoln’s decision. Argued unconstitutional, completely necessary, and everything in between, it is a simple fact that Lincoln was rightly justified as president to push the limits of the constitution when suspending the writ of habeas corpus in order…show more content…
While Lincoln faced the possibility of jeopardizing the capital and risking the fall of the nation, he made the controversial decision to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. Then, on the night of May 25, 1861, troops arrested John Merryman for various acts of treason. Merryman’s lawyer, within days of imprisonment, appealed to Chief Justice Taney for a writ of habeas corpus. Taney “issued the writ, ordering the soldiers to produce him in court and explain the law for the arrest” (Mark E. Neely, Jr.,The Constitution and Civil Liberties Under Lincoln, 38). George Cadwalader refused, relying on Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus. Outraged, Taney authored Ex Parte Merryman, leading to the question asked by many; Does congress hold all of the power to suspend habeas corpus, and does the president lack any power to suspend the writ even when there’s a threat to public safety when congress is not in
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