In re Neagle

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In re Neagle
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued March 4–5, 1890
Decided April 14, 1890
Full case name In re David Neagle
Citations 135 U.S. 1 (more)
10 S. Ct. 658; 34 L. Ed. 55; 1890 U.S. LEXIS 2006
Prior history Appeal from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of California
Section 3 of Art. II of the U.S. Constitution requires that the Executive Branch "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." The court determined that the appointment of bodyguards to Supreme Court Justices ensured the faithful execution of the law of the United States. The court also relied on a statute granting marshals "the same powers, in executing the laws of the United States, as sheriffs and their deputies in such State may have, by law, in executing the laws thereof."
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Miller, joined by Bradley, Harlan, Gray, Blatchford, Brewer
Dissent Lamar, joined by Fuller
Field took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
Laws applied
U.S. Const. Art. III, Sec. 788 of the Revised Statutes of the United States

In re Neagle, 135 U.S. 1 (1890)[1], was a United States Supreme Court decision that determined the question of whether the Attorney General of the United States had authority to appoint U.S. Marshals as bodyguards to Supreme Court Justices.


U.S. Marshal David Neagle was appointed by the attorney general to serve as a bodyguard to Justice Stephen J. Field while he rode circuit in California. David S. Terry, a disappointed litigant with a grudge against Field, approached and appeared to be about to attack Field. Neagle shot and killed him. Neagle was arrested by California authorities on a charge of murder. The United States sought to secure the release of Neagle on a writ of habeas corpus. In the absence of a law specifically authorizing the appointment of bodyguards for Supreme Court Justices, the government relied on a statute that made the writ available to those "in custody for an act done or omitted in pursuance of a law of the United States."

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • In re Neagle at