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Case Basics
Facts of the Case 

In 1867, Congress passed the Reconstruction Acts. Although President Andrew Johnson vetoed the Acts, Congress overrode the veto. In an attempt to delay or prevent Reconstruction, the state of Mississippi appealed directly to the Supreme Court. Mississippi asked the Court for an injunction preventing the President from enforcing the Acts on the ground that they were unconstitutional.


Could the Supreme Court constitutionally issue an injunction directed against the President?


In a unanimous decision, the Court held that it had "no jurisdiction of a bill to enjoin the President in the performance of his official duties...." The Court held that the duties of the President as required by the Reconstruction Acts were "in no sense ministerial," and that a judicial attempt to interfere with the performance of such duties would be "an absurd and excessive extravagance." The Court noted that if the President chose to ignore the injunction, the judiciary would be unable to enforce the order.

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MISSISSIPPI v. JOHNSON. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1866/1866_2>.
MISSISSIPPI v. JOHNSON, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1866/1866_2 (last visited August 25, 2015).
"MISSISSIPPI v. JOHNSON," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1866/1866_2.