Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2

[Volume 3, Page 328]

Document 9

Luther Martin, Genuine Information

1788Storing 2.4.72

By the next paragraph, the general government is to have a power of suspending the habeas corpus act, in cases of rebellion or invasion.

As the State governments have a power of suspending the habeas corpus act in those cases, it was said, there could be no reason for giving such a power to the general government, since, whenever the State which is invaded, or in which an insurrection takes place, finds its safety requires it, it will make use of that power--And it was urged, that if we gave this power to the general government, it would be an engine of oppression in its hands, since whenever a State should oppose its views, however arbitrary and unconstitutional, and refuse submission to them, the general government may declare it to be an act of rebellion, and suspending the habeas corpus act, may seize upon the persons of those advocates of freedom, who have had virtue and resolution enough to excite the opposition, and may imprison them during its pleasure in the remotest part of the union, so that a citizen of Georgia might be bastiled in the furthest part of New-Hampshire; or a citizen of New-Hampshire in the furthest extreme to the south, cut off from their family, their friends, and their every connexion--These considerations induced me, Sir, to give my negative also to this clause.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 3, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2, Document 9
The University of Chicago Press

Storing, Herbert J., ed. The Complete Anti-Federalist. 7 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

© 1987 by The University of Chicago
All rights reserved. Published 2000