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.