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Justice David

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Justice David Davis—A Man of Law David Davis born in Cecil County, Maryland in 1815 is a prominent figure of the U.S. history. He is most famous for writing the opinion of the Supreme Court in Milligan case. His outstanding loyalty and allegiance to the Constitution of the Unites States and his firm belief in freedom of civil liberty gives us an insight into his human character. Although, strong feelings of intimacy and friendship existed between President Lincoln and Davis, he did not allow this to deteriorate his commitment to freedom of civil liberties. He was a man who, despite different views of Lincoln’s executive decisions that barred some civil liberties, maintained support for President Lincoln yet standing ground on opposing those decisions. Davis was born into a wealthy family as an orphan. He graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 1832 and further studied law in Massachusetts and Yale University, graduating from there in 1835. He served as member in the Illinois House of Representatives in 1845 ; in Illinois Constitutional Convention; and as an Illinois circuit court judge. The most interesting part of his life is when he served as Abraham Lincoln’s campaign manager during the presidential election of the year 1860. It is when Davis was appointed the associate justice of the United States Supreme Court by Lincoln that he made the most important decision of his life. The court’s ruling on the case entitled Ex parte Milligan, shows us Davis’ view on civil liberties—particularly, the suspension of the writ to habeas corpus. The Ex parte Milligan case was regarding Lambdin P. Milligan and four others members who were accused, charged, found guilty and sentenced to be hanged by the military court in 1864. However, when brought to the Supreme Court, the Court ruled in favor of the case. Justice Davis delivered the opinion of the Court for...

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