The Constitution provides as I have before said that "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. " It declares that "the right of the people to be secure in their pesons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. " It provides that the party accused shall be entitled to a speedy trial in a court of justice.
And these great and fundamental laws which Congress itself could not suspend have been disregarded and suspended like the writ of habeas corpus by a military order supported by force of arms. Such is the case now before me; and I can only say that if the authority which the Constitution has confided to the judiciary department and judicial officers may thus upon any pretext or under any circumstances be usurped by the military power at its discretion the people of the United States are no longer living under a government of laws, but every citizen holds life, liberty and property at the will and pleasure of the army officer in whose military district he may happen to be found.
In such a case my duty was too plain to be mistaken. I have exercised all the power which the Constitution and laws confer on me but that power has been resisted by a force too strong for me to overcome. It is possible that the officer who had incurred this grave responsibility may have misunderstood his instructions and exceeded the authority intended to be given him. I shall therefore order all the proceedings in this case with my opinion to be filed and recorded in the circuit court of the United States for the district of Maryland and direct the clerk to transmit a copy under seal to the President of the United States. ain for that high officer in fulfillment of his constitutional obligation to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" to determine what measures he will take to cause the civil process of the United States to be respected and enforced.
R. B. TANEY,
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ANNAPOLIS,
Fort McHenry, June 13, 1861.
The MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BALTIMORE.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of an order* issued to the troops of the United States in this city and the vicinity.
In pursuance of this authority no soldier will be permitted to leave his post or enter the city during this day without positive orders from the general in command except those who are voters under the constitution and laws of Maryland and whose rights as voters as I understand have been recognized in a communication addressed by you to my predecessor in command of this department.
I earnestly desire to co-operate with you in all measures that may tend to promote the peace of the city. The large police force wisely controlled I think if impartial and vigilant will have strength to supprss ordinary election tumults and preserve order. If they fail to do this or if any considerable portion of the people of Baltimore avail