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Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review

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This is the first of three planned articles in a project whose overall title is “Habeas Corpus in Three Dimensions.” This piece considers the significance of the fact that, until the first decades of the nineteenth century, American habeas corpus was embedded in a system of common law writs. The second article will discuss habeas corpus as part of the overall structure of constraints on government power being constructed in this country until approximately 1830. The third installment will trace the role of habeas corpus in the system of separation of powers that subsequently developed.