Burger and Haupt were U. All returned to Germany between and After the declaration of war between the United States and Nazi Germany in December following the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor , they received training at a sabotage school near Berlin , where they were instructed in the use of explosives and in methods of secret writing. On June 16, , they came ashore during the hours of darkness. All eight wore full or partial German military uniforms so that if they were captured upon landing, they would be entitled to prisoner-of-war status rather than being treated as spies. Cullen returned to his station and sounded the alarm.
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Ex Parte Quirin, U. Presentation to the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia of a petition for habeas corpus was the institution of a suit, and denial by that court of leave to file the petition was a judicial determination of a case or controversy reviewable by appeal to the U. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and in this Court by certiorari. In time of war between the United States and Germany, petitioners, wearing German military uniforms and carrying explosives, fuses, and incendiary and time devices, were landed from German submarines in the hours of darkness, at places on the Eastern seaboard of the United States.
Thereupon they buried the uniforms and supplies, and proceeded, in civilian dress, to various places in the United States. All had received instructions in Germany from an officer of the German High Command to destroy war industries and war facilities in the United States, for which they or their relatives in Germany were to receive salary payments from the German Government.
They also had been paid by the German Government during their course of training at a sabotage school, and had with them, when arrested, substantial amounts of United States currency, which had been handed to them by an officer of the German High Command, who had instructed them to wear their German uniforms while landing in the United States. Specification 1 of the charges on which they were placed on trial before a military commission charged that they, "being enemies of the United States and acting for.
Ex parte Milligan, 4 Wall. Articles 15, 38 and 46 of the Articles of War, enacted by Congress, recognize the "military commission" as an appropriate tribunal for the trial and punishment of offenses against the law of war not ordinarily tried by courts-martial. And by the Articles of War, especially Article 15, Congress has explicitly provided, so far as it may constitutionally do so, that military tribunals shall have jurisdiction to try offenses against the law of war in appropriate cases.
Congress, in addition to making rules for the government of our Armed Forces, by the Articles of War has exercised its authority under Art. And by Article of War 15, Congress has incorporated by reference, as within the jurisdiction of military commissions, all offenses which are defined as such by the law of war and which may constitutionally be included within that jurisdiction.
This Court has always recognized and applied the law of war as including that part of the law of nations which prescribes, for the conduct of war, the status, rights and duties of enemy nations as well as of enemy individuals. The offense charged in this case was an offense against the law of war, the trial of which by military commission had been authorized by Congress, and which the Constitution does not require to be tried by jury.
By the law of war, lawful combatants are subject to capture and detention as prisoners of war; unlawful combatants, in addition, are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful. It has long been accepted practice by our military authorities to treat those who, during time of war, pass surreptitiously from enemy territory into our own, discarding their uniforms upon entry, for the commission of hostile acts involving destruction of life or property, as unlawful combatants punishable as such by military commission.
This practice, accepted and followed by other governments, must be regarded as a rule or principle of the law of war recognized by this Government by its enactment of the Fifteenth Article of War. Citizens of the United States who associate themselves with the military arm of an enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts, are enemy belligerents within the meaning of the Hague Convention and the law of war.
It is a construction which has been followed since the founding of our government, and is now continued in the 82nd Article of War. Such a construction is entitled to great respect.
Since violation of the law of war is adequately alleged in this case, the Court finds no occasion to consider the validity of other specifications based on the 81st and 82nd Article of War, or to construe those articles or decide upon their constitutionality a so construed.
Leave to file petitions for habeas corpus in this Court denied. Orders of District Court 47 F. The Chief Justice announced that the Court had convened in Special Term in order that certain applications might be presented to it and argument be heard in respect thereto.
Stone, U. Therefore, said the Attorney General, counsel for all the respective parties in this proceeding joined in urging the Chief Justice to participate in the consideration and decision of the matters to be presented.
Colonel Kenneth C. Royall, of counselor the petitioners, concurred in the statement and request of the Attorney General. The applications, seven in number ante, p.
Cox, U. Provost Marshal of the Military District of Washington, who, pursuant to orders, was holding them in that District for and during a trial before a Military Commission constituted by an Order of the President of the United States.
During the course of the argument, the petitioners were permitted to file petitions for writs of certiorari, directed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to review, before judgment by that Court, orders then before it by appeal by which the District Court for the District of Columbia had denied applications for leave to file petitions for writs of habeas corpus.
After the argument, this Court delivered a Per Curiam Opinion, disposing of the cases footnote, p. A full opinion, which is the basis of this Report, was filed with the Clerk of the Court on October 29, Motions for leave to file petitions for habeas corpus were then presented to this Court, and the merits of the applications were fully argued at the Special Term of Court convened on July 29, Counsel for petitioners subsequently filed a notice of appeal from the order of the District Court to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and they have perfected their appeals to that court.
They have presented to this Court petitions for writs of certiorari before judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, pursuant to 28 U.
The petitions are granted. In accordance with the stipulation between counsel for petitioners and for the respondent, the papers filed and argument had in connection with the applications for leave to file petitions for habeas corpus are made applicable to the certiorari proceedings.
It now announces its decision and enters its judgment in each case, in advance of the preparation of a full opinion, which necessarily will require a considerable period of time for its preparation and which, when prepared, will be filed with the Clerk. The mandates are directed to issue forthwith.
The question for decision is whether the detention of petitioners by respondent for trial by Military Commission, appointed by Order of the President of July 2, ,on charges preferred against them purporting to set out their violations of the law of war and of the Articles of War, is in conformity to the laws and Constitution of the United States.
After denial of their applications by the District Court, 47 F. The applications for leave to file the petitions were presented in open court on that day, and were heard on the petitions, the answers to them of respondent, a stipulation of facts by counsel, and the record of the testimony given before the Commission.
We granted certiorari before judgment for the reasons which moved us to convene the special term of Court. In accordance with the stipulation of counsel, we treat the record, briefs and arguments in the habeas corpus proceedings in this Court as the record, briefs and arguments upon the writs of certiorari. By per curiam opinion, we announced the decision of the Court, and that the full opinion in the causes would be prepared and filed with the Clerk.
The following facts appear from the petitions or are stipulated. Except as noted, they are undisputed. All the petitioners were born in Germany; all have lived in the United States. All returned to Germany between and All except petitioner Haupt are admittedly citizens of the German Reich, with which the United States is at war.
Haupt came to this country with his parents when he was five years old; it is contended that he became a citizen of the United States by virtue of the naturalization of his parents during his minority, and that he has not since lost his citizenship. The Government, however, takes the position that, on attaining his majority he elected to maintain German allegiance and citizenship, or in any case that he has, by his conduct, renounced or abandoned his United States citizenship.
See Perkins v. Elg, U. Rojak v. Marshall, 34 F. Scimeca v. Husband, 6 F. For reasons presently to be stated we do not find it necessary to resolve these contentions. After the declaration of war between the United States and the German Reich, petitioners received training at a sabotage school near Berlin, Germany, where they were instructed in the use of explosives and in methods of secret writing. The four were there landed from the submarine in the hours of darkness, on or about June 13, , carrying with them a supply of explosives, fuses, and incendiary and timing devices.
While landing, they wore German Marine Infantry uniforms or parts of uniforms. Immediately after landing, they buried their uniforms and the other articles mentioned and proceeded in civilian dress to New York City.
The remaining four petitioners at the same French port boarded another German submarine, which carried them across the Atlantic to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. On or about June 17, , they came ashore during the hours of darkness, wearing caps of the German Marine Infantry and carrying with them a supply of explosives, fuses, and incendiary and timing devices.
They immediately buried their caps and the other articles mentioned, and proceeded in civilian dress to Jacksonville, Florida, and thence to various points in the United States. They also had been paid by the German Government during their course of training at the sabotage school, and had received substantial sums in United States currency, which were in their possession when arrested. The currency had been handed to them by an officer of the German High Command, who had instructed them to wear their German uniforms while landing in the United States.
Pursuant to direction of the Attorney General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation surrendered custody of petitioners to respondent, Provost Marshal of the Military District of Washington, who was directed by the Secretary of War to receive and keep them in custody, and who thereafter held petitioners for trial before the Commission.
Violation of Article 81 of the Articles of War, defining the offense of relieving or attempting to relieve, or corresponding with or giving intelligence to, the enemy. Violation of Article 82, defining the offense of spying. Conspiracy to commit the offenses alleged in charges 1, 2 and 3. The Commission met on July 8, , and proceeded with the trial, which continued in progress while the causes were pending in this Court.
While it is the usual procedure on an application for a writ of habeas corpus in the federal courts for the court to issue the writ and on the return to hear and dispose of the case, it may without issuing the writ consider and determine whether the facts alleged by the petition, if proved, would warrant discharge of the prisoner.
Walker v. Johnston, U. Presentation of the petition for judicial action is the institution of a suit. Hence, denial by the district court of leave to file the petitions in these causes was the judicial determination of a case or controversy, reviewable on appeal to the Court of Appeals and reviewable here by certiorari.
See Ex parte Milligan, 4 Wall. Brady, U. The Government challenges each of these propositions. It is urged that, if they are enemy aliens or if the Proclamation has force, no court may afford the petitioners a hearing.
But there is certainly nothing in the Proclamation to preclude access to the courts for determining its applicability to the particular case. As announced in our per curiam opinion, we have resolved those questions by our conclusion that the Commission has jurisdiction to try the charge preferred against petitioners.
There is therefore no occasion to decide contentions of the parties unrelated to this issue. We are not here concerned with any question of the guilt or innocence of petitioners.
Ex parte Milligan, supra, 71 U. Ohio, U. Texas, U. But the detention and trial of petitioners -- ordered by the President in the declared exercise of his powers as Commander in Chief of the Army in time of war and of grave public danger -- are not to be set aside by the courts without the clear conviction that they are in conflict with the Constitution or laws of Congress constitutionally enacted.
Congress and the President, like the courts, possess no power not derived from the Constitution. But one of the objects of the Constitution, as declared by its preamble, is to "provide for the common defence.
And finally, the Constitution authorizes Congress "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
The Constitution confers on the President the "executive Power," Art. The Constitution thus invests the President, as Commander in Chief, with the power to wage war which Congress has declared, and to carry into effect all laws passed by Congress for the conduct of war and for the government and regulation of the Armed Forces, and all laws defining and punishing offenses against the law of nations, including those which pertain to the conduct of war.
By the Articles of War, 10 U.
Ex Parte Quirin, U. Presentation to the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia of a petition for habeas corpus was the institution of a suit, and denial by that court of leave to file the petition was a judicial determination of a case or controversy reviewable by appeal to the U. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and in this Court by certiorari. In time of war between the United States and Germany, petitioners, wearing German military uniforms and carrying explosives, fuses, and incendiary and time devices, were landed from German submarines in the hours of darkness, at places on the Eastern seaboard of the United States. Thereupon they buried the uniforms and supplies, and proceeded, in civilian dress, to various places in the United States. All had received instructions in Germany from an officer of the German High Command to destroy war industries and war facilities in the United States, for which they or their relatives in Germany were to receive salary payments from the German Government.
Ex Parte Quirin
Supreme Court on July 31, , unanimously ruled to allow the military, instead of civil courts, to try foreign nationals from enemy countries caught entering the United States to commit destructive acts. The case of Ex Parte Quirin stemmed from a failed Nazi plan, known as Operation Pastorius, in which German submarines put two teams of infiltrators ashore in New York and Florida to sabotage defense-related industries in the United States. All of the saboteurs had been born in Germany , lived in the United States, and then returned to their homeland. However, before they could strike, one of the participants foiled the plot by revealing the details to the FBI. The eight saboteurs who had already entered the United States were subsequently arrested.