Martin v. Mott

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MARTIN V. MOTT, 12 Wheaton (25 U.S.) 19 (1827). During the War of 1812, a New York militia private was ordered to report for duty and refused. A court martial seized his property as a penalty, which he challenged, testing the power of the President to call out the militia. Justice Joseph Story, for the U.S. Supreme Court, held that the Constitution authorizes the president alone to determine when to call out the militia against actual or imminent invasion, in which case his decision is final. This decision set in place the president's power to federalize state national guards as well as to allow for integrated reserve and standing forces.


Story, Joseph. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States,With a Preliminary Review of the Constitution. Reprint. New York: Da Capo, 1970. The original edition was published in 1833.


See alsoMilitias .