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Ableman v. Booth

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Ableman v. Booth was a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1859, 21 Howard 506 (1859). Chief Justice Roger B. Taney used the opportunity to analyze federal and state powers. Sherman Booth, sentenced to jail by a federal court for assisting in the rescue of a fugitive slave at Milwaukee, was released on a writ of habeas corpus issued by a judge of the Wisconsin Supreme Court on the ground that the Fugitive Slave Act was unconstitutional. The case was carried to the U.S. Supreme Court, which rendered a unanimous opinion by Taney pronouncing the Fugitive Slave Act valid and forbidding a state to interfere with federal prisoners by habeas corpus writs.