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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On May 8,the German High Command. Uhl,F.

Habeas corpus, as an instrument to protect against illegal imprisonment, is written into the Constitution. From January,to today, motions for leave to file petitions for habeas corpus in this Court, and applications treated by the Court as such, on behalf of over German enemy aliens confined by American military authorities abroad iohnson filed and denied.

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 eisentragger.

Justia makes no guarantees or warranties that the annotations are accurate or reflect the current state of law, and no annotation is intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal advice. The Court of Appeals considered only questions which it regarded as reserved in that decision and in Ex parte Endo, U.

This may be taken as the sound principle of the common law today. When that appears, those resident here may be deprived of liberty by Executive action without hearing.


ICD – Johnson v. Eisentrager – Asser Institute

Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. It being within the jurisdiction of a Military Commission to try the prisoners, it was for it to determine whether the laws of war applied and whether an offense eisentraged them had been committed.

Cases are occasionally dismissed where the claims are “wholly insubstantial and frivolous,” Bell v. A unanimous Court recently clarified both the privilege of access to our courts and the limitations upon it. One is that the United States was obliged to give the protecting power of Germany. And so too, Lawrence, who says, “If. Chief Justice Fred M.

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

It is war that exposes the relative vulnerability of the alien’s status. This Court has recognized that rule, Caperton v. Eisentrger Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

It would be a paradox indeed if what the Amendment denied to Americans it guaranteed to enemies. A basic consideration in habeas corpus practice is that the prisoner will be produced before the court. Bush on the fs grounds.

This is the same preliminary hearing as to sufficiency of application that was extended in Quirin, supra, Yamashita, supra, and Hirota v. The Court cannot, and, despite its rhetoric on the point, does not, deny that, if they were imprisoned in the United States, our courts would clearly have jurisdiction to hear their habeas corpus complaints.


We ask only whether the military tribunal was legally constituted, and whether it had jurisdiction to impose punishment for the conduct charged. For reasons stated, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the judgment of the District Court dismissing the petition is affirmed.

While his lot is far more humane [ Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. The constitutional contentions are that. These prisoners have been convicted of violating laws of war by engaging in, permitting, or ordering continued military activity against the United States after surrender of Germany and before surrender of Japan.

A rule to show cause issued, to which the United States made return. See also Dow v. In this respect, our courts follow the practice of the English courts. Only after thus upholding jurisdiction of the courts to consider such habeas corpus petitions did we go on to deny those particular petitions upon a finding that the prisoners had been convicted by a military tribunal of competent jurisdiction for conduct that we found constituted an actual violation of the law of war.

The decision was appealed by Johnson, the Secretary of Defense and others.