Some Sense Left

December 22, 1866


A bill was introduced in the United States House of Representatives that would allow the President to order the military to stop any civil government from using corporeal punishment on its citizens.


Some Sense Left.--On Thursday a resolution was under consideration in the House of Representatives "authorizing the President," as its language was, to order the military to forbid corporal punishment by the civil authorities of the States lately in rebellion. Two days before, the Supreme Court had decided that Congress had no power to "authorize" the trial of civilians by military commissions--a greater proposition which included this lesser, that Congress has no power to "authorize" the President, or the army, to forbid any punishment which the civil authorities may choose to inflict, since to do so would be in effect to try a civilian, or grant him a rehearing, which is just as bad. The House wisely referred this resolution to a committee. But we should not be surprised if it were to be passed hereafter.
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Nat Berry




“Some Sense Left,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed December 3, 2022,