Military Commissions Seal
Significant U.S. Supreme Court Opinions

Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2 (4 Wall.) (1866), holding that a military commission convened to try Lambdin Milligan did not have jurisdiction to try him because he was a citizen of Indiana, Indiana was not in rebellion, and civilian courts in Indiana continued to function.

Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942), upholding authority of the President of the United States to try certain persons by military commission. 

In re Yamashita, 327 U.S. 1 (1946), upholding trial by military commission of Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita.

Johnson v. Eisentrager, 339 U.S. 763 (1950), upheld the jurisdiction of military tribunals to try non-resident enemy aliens abroad and limited access to U.S. federal civilian courts for non- resident enemy aliens detained abroad.

Rasul v  Bush, 542 US 466 (2004), holding that “United States courts have jurisdiction to consider challenges to the legality of the detention of foreign nationals captured abroad in connection with hostilities and incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay.”

Hamdi v  Rumsfeld, 542 US 507 (2004), holding that “due process demands that a citizen held in the United States as an enemy combatant be given a meaningful opportunity to contest the factual basis for that detention before a neutral decisionmaker.”

Hamdan v  Rumsfeld, 548 US 557 (2006), holding military commissions convened under the President’s Military Order of November 13, 2001 did not comply with U.S. or international law.  This opinion reversed and remanded the opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in this case (Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 415 F. 3d 33 (D.C. Cir. 2005).