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In Cincinnati District Court, Justice Swayne quashes an indictment for treason on constitutional grounds

Noah Haynes Swayne, detail
05/06/1862
James M. Chenoweth had been indicted in the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati during its previous session for treason in aiding the Confederacy.  Out on bail, Cheneoweth had appealed on the grounds that "aid to the enemy" under the Constitution did not apply to a rebellion, only to foreign enemies.  New Supreme Court Justice Noah Swayne, sitting for the District Court, reluctantly agreed that despite the current popular excitement the strict interpretation of the law dictated the indictment be quashed and Chenoweth freed.  (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
"Important Decision in a Case of Treason," Cleveland (OH) Herald, May 10, 1862.
Roberta Sue Alexander, A Plan of Recourse: A History of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, 1802-2003 (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2005), 51.
Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1863), V: 4.

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