Mississippi v. Johnson 4 Wallace (71 U.S.) 475 (1867) Georgia v. Stanton 6 Wallace (73 U.S.) 50 (1868)
MISSISSIPPI v. JOHNSON 4 Wallace (71 U.S.) 475 (1867) GEORGIA v. STANTON 6 Wallace (73 U.S.) 50 (1868)
In these cases, the Supreme Court refused to enjoin President andrew johnson and Secretary of War edwin m. stanton from enforcing the military reconstruction acts. The Justices unanimously refused to act in the Mississippi case, holding that legislatively mandated executive duties were not enjoinable. Georgia subsequently argued that the military laws threatened its corporate sovereignty, but Justice samuel nelson found this a political question unfit for judicial scrutiny. Nelson hinted, however, that the Court might favorably consider an action based on property rights. Shortly afterward, in an unreported case (Mississippi v. Stanton, 1868), the Justices evenly divided on that question. Consequently, the judiciary never ruled on the constitutionality of military reconstruction; yet these decisions involved an important recognition of separation of powers and the limits of judicial power.
Stanley I. Kutler