The rights of prisoners of war depends on which country holds them. In this lesson, we will learn how the Supreme Court’s decision in ”Johnson v. Eisentrager”. [Source: U.S. Supreme Court JOHNSON v. EISENTRAGER, U.S. (); June 5, ; available on ]. Johnson, Secretary of Defense et al; Eisentrager alias Ehrhardt et al. Categories, War crimes. Keywords, detention, international armed conflict, jurisdiction, war.

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The Government’s petition for certiorari here presented no question except that of jurisdiction, and neither party has argued, orally or in briefs, eisentrage this Court should pass on the sufficiency of the petition.

Johnson v. Eisentrager, 339 U.S. 763 (1950)

The Court of Appeals dispensed with all requirement of territorial jurisdiction based on place of residence, captivity, trial, offense, or confinement. And, of course, grant of war power includes all that is necessary and proper for carrying these powers into execution. Not one word can be cited. The constitutional contentions are that.


Discover some of the most interesting and trending topics of On May 8,the German High Command. The writ Page U. The Selective Service Act of62 Stat.

This Court refused to receive Yamashita’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The District Court dismissed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus to inquire into the confinement of respondents by the United States Army in occupied Germany.

By the Treaty of Versailles, “The German Government recognizes the right of the Allied and Associated Powers to bring before military tribunals persons accused of having committed acts in violation of the laws and customs of war.

Johnson v. Eisentrager | law case |

Any contention that a similarly limited use of habeas corpus for these prisoners would somehow give them a preferred position in the law cannot be taken seriously. Within the framework of litigation, the Supreme Court marks the boundaries of authority between state and nation, state and state, and government and citizen. They, with six others who were acquitted, were taken into custody by the United States Army after the Japanese surrender, and were tried and convicted by a Military Commission constituted by our Commanding General at Nanking by delegation from the Commanding General, United States Forces, China Theater, pursuant to authority specifically granted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States.


The Court is fashioning wholly indefensible doctrine if it permits the executive branch, by deciding where its prisoners will be tried and imprisoned, to deprive all federal courts of their power to protect against a federal executive’s illegal incarcerations. Decker, 11 Page U. A rule to show cause issued, to which the United States made return.

As we observed in the Yamashita case, “If the military tribunals have lawful authority to hear, decide, and condemn, their action is not subject to judicial review merely because they have made a wrong decision on disputed Page U. See also Dow v. This we did in the face of a presidential proclamation denying such prisoners access to our courts. United States,F.

This Court has recognized that rule, Caperton v. None of the places where they were acting, arrested, tried, or imprisoned was, it was contended, in a zone of active military operations, was not johnspn martial law or any other military control, and no circumstances justified transferring them from civil to military jurisdiction. Although there have been and are many varieties of the writ, the most important is that used…. In our jurisprudence, no Government action which is void under the Constitution is exempt from judicial power.

Bush eisentragrr the arrest and detainment of a number of suspected terrorists. One of those convicted, Lothar Eisentrager, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in a U.

The German men were convicted of violating the terms of eiwentrager German surrender, which had ordered that all hostilities toward the Allied forces end. The decision was appealed by Johnson, the Secretary of Defense and others. Modern American law has come a long way since the time when outbreak of war made every enemy national. Such extraterritorial application of organic johbson would have been so significant an innovation in the practice of governments that, if intended or apprehended, it could scarcely have failed to excite contemporary comment.

While his lot is far more humane Page U. With confirmation of recent history, we may reiterate this Court’s earlier teaching that, in war.

It concluded the rule of the common law and the law of nations to be that alien enemies resident in the country of the enemy could not maintain an action in its courts during the period of hostilities. Furthermore, the offense of which they were convicted, breach of the terms of an act of surrender, is well-established in conventional law and the Commission did not therefore exceed its powers for trying and convicting the Respondents of this crime.


Claiming that their trial, conviction, and imprisonment violated Articles I and III, the Fifth Amendment, and other provisions of our Constitution, laws of the United States, and provisions of the Geneva Convention, they petitioned the District Court for the District of Columbia for a writ of habeas corpus directed to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army, and several officers of the Army having directive power over their custodian.

But that does not mean that the Constitution is wholly inapplicable in foreign territories that we occupy and govern. If the Fifth Amendment protects them from military trial, the Sixth Amendment as clearly prohibits their trial by civil courts.

It could not predicate relief upon any intraterritorial contact of these prisoners with our laws or institutions. Endicott, ‘ Habeas Corpus and Guantanamo Bay: See cases collected in Annotations, A. Respondents, who are nonresident enemy aliens, were captured in China by the United States Army and tried and convicted in China by an American military commission for violations of the laws of war committed in China prior to their capture. For that citizenship is enriched beyond price by our goal of equal justice under law — equal justice not for citizens alone, but for all persons coming within the ambit of our power.

Hopkins, the Court said of the Fourteenth Amendment, “These provisions are universal in their application, to all persons within the territorial jurisdiction, without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality.

After a series of appeals and court hearings, the case was heard in the Supreme Court. III The Court of Appeals dispensed with all requirement of territorial jurisdiction based on place of residence, captivity, trial, offense, or confinement. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. To grant the Page U.