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Mississippi v. Johnson


MISSISSIPPI V. JOHNSON, 4 Wallace (71 U.S.) 475 (1867), Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase's opinion for a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court denied Mississippi's request for an injunction to prohibit President Andrew Johnson from enforcing the Military Reconstruction Acts of 1867. Chase held that under Marbury v. Madison (1803), courts could enjoin only ministerial duties of the president, not the exercise of discretionary authority vested in the president by statute. Together with Georgia v. Stanton (1868) and the unreported Mississippi v. Stanton (1868), this case marked the Court's refusal to use judicial authority to frustrate congressional Republican Reconstruction. The decision remains a pillar of separation-of-powers doctrine.


Fairman, Charles. Reconstruction and Reunion, 1864–88. Vol. 1. New York: Macmillan, 1971.

Kutler, Stanley I. Judicial Power and Reconstruction Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968.

William M.Wiecek

See alsoGeorgia v. Stanton ; Marbury v. Madison ; Reconstruction ; Separation of Powers .

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