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Abstract

In my own scholarship, Fallon and Meltzer’s work on habeas models prompted me to dig deeper into the historical backdrop that informed ratification of the Suspension Clause and think harder about the relevance of that history for questions of constitutional interpretation. This, in turn, has spurred work that has occupied me for many years since. In the spirit of engaging with my federal courts professor one more time, this Article tells the story of the statutory origins of the habeas privilege—what Blackstone called a “second magna carta”—and argues that any explication of the constitutional privilege and discussion of how courts should address modern Suspension Clause questions should account for the critical role that the English Habeas Corpus Act played in the development of Anglo-American habeas jurisprudence.

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