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Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2



Document 8

Records of the Federal Convention

[2:334; Journal, 20 Aug.]

The privileges and benefit of the writ of habeas corpus shall be enjoyed in this government in the most expeditious and ample manner: and shall not be suspended by the Legislature except upon the most urgent and pressing occasions, and for a limited time not exceeding months.

[2:435; Journal, 28 Aug.]

It was moved and seconded to add the following amendment to the 4 sect. II article

"The privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended; unless where in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

which passed in the affirmative [Ayes--7; noes--3.]

[2:438; Madison, 28 Aug.]

Mr. Pinkney, urging the propriety of securing the benefit of the Habeas corpus in the most ample manner, moved "that it should not be suspended but on the most urgent occasions, & then only for a limited time not exceeding twelve months"

Mr. Rutlidge was for declaring the Habeas Corpus inviolable--He did not conceive that a suspension could ever be necessary at the same time through all the States--

Mr. Govr Morris moved that "The privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless where in cases of Rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it".

Mr. Wilson doubted whether in any case a suspension could be necessary, as the discretion now exists with Judges, in most important cases to keep in Gaol or admit to Bail.

The first part of Mr. Govr. Morris' motion, to the word "unless" was agreed to nem: con:--on the remaining part;

N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. no. [Ayes--7; noes--3.]

[2:576, 596; Committee of Style]

The privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended; unless where in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.


The Founders' Constitution
Volume 3, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2, Document 8
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_9_2s8.html
The University of Chicago Press

Farrand, Max, ed. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Rev. ed. 4 vols. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1937.

Easy to print version.


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