History of the Federal Judiciary

History of the Federal Judiciary

  Ex parte Merryman and Debates on Civil Liberties During the Civil War
by Bruce A. Ragsdale, Director, Federal Judicial History Office, Federal Judicial Center

Learn about the case — historical background and documents

Download a PDF of the Historical Background and Documents

Ex parte Merryman: A Short Narrative

The Courts and their Jurisdiction

The Judicial Process: A Chronology

Legal Questions Before the Court

Legal Arguments in Court


Media Coverage and Public Debates

Historical Documents

Bibliography and Resources


Submit Questions About Judicial History