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Ex Parte Milligan at 150: The Constitution & Military Commissions in American Wars on Terror (Illinois)

September 22, 2016 - September 24, 2016

American History / Studies, Law and Legal History, Government and Public Service, Political Science, Political History / Studies
Illinois State University is proud to announce a conference to mark the 150th anniversary of ex parte Milligan (1866), sponsored by Illinois State University and the David Davis Mansion on September 22-24, 2016 at the Marriot Hotel, Normal Illinois.
Written here in Bloomington, Illinois, Davis’s decision held that trial by military commissions was acceptable only where there was a real war and where civilian courts were impaired. Long dormant, Milligan has assumed new centrality in our political and constitutional debates arising out of the so-called “war on terror.”  We invite established scholars, practicing professionals, or graduate students from all fields to submit proposals on historical, legal, constitutional or political subtopics related to the Milligan decision itself, its antecedents, or its legacy.
The conference will feature break out panels, plenary sessions and key notes by Michael Les Benedict and Louis Fisher.  The goal is to explore both historical and contemporary implications of this understudied landmark decision. The decision is rich in significance for the study of civil liberties in wartime, Civil War politics, Reconstruction, the emergence of the Bill of Rights, the rise of legal liberalism, as well as recent questions surrounding detainees at Guantanamo Bay and the use of military commissions.

Dr. Stewart Winger
Associate Professor, Department of History, Illinois State University
Co-Chair, Ex Parte Milligan Conference
Office:  309-438-2348

Dr. Meghan Leonard
Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and Government, Illinois State University
Co-Chair, Ex Parte Milligan Conference
Office:  309-438-7362

Dr. Michael Gizzi
Associate Professor, College of Applied Science and Technology, Illinois State University
Co-Chair, Ex Parte Milligan Conference
Office:  309-438-5001

Contact Email:


September 22, 2016
September 24, 2016
Event Category:


Marriott Hotel and Conference Centre
201 Broadway Avenue
Normal, IL IL 61761 United States
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