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The Case of Martin v. Mott
The year is 1812. With the War of 1812 going on between Britain and the USA, it's all hands on deck to win the war. In compliance with the president's order to stop the whiskey rebellion back in 1794, Governor Daniel Tompkins of New York orders militias to gather in New York. Jacob Mott refuses the call to war.
You cannot force me to fight in a war.
You must, it is the law!
Keep in mind. During this time, because of past conflicts such as the Whiskey Rebellion, The President had the power to summon state militias to go to war. It could have been considered law to heed the call and fight for your country. This gave a lot of power to the central government and diminished the powers of individual states.
After Mott refused to obey the order, he was fined $96 for disobedience. And when Mott did not pay the fine Martin, the U.S marshal, took Mott's property.
YOU CAN'T DO THIS! This is not the last time you will hear of me!
In response to the seizure of his goods, Mott filed a civil lawsuit against Martin in an attempt to get back what was once his as well as the right to not go to war with the state militia.
You simply cannot take everything I have because I will not go to war!
You went against law. No excuse for that.
The big question was whether or not this was a constitutional issue. In this case, it was. It is said in the Declaration of Independence that all men have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It was obvious that Mott did not want to go to war, he wanted to be happy and live his life, without worrying about his life while at war. How could someone be rejected the pursuit of happiness?
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