In re Neagle

PETITIONER: In re Neagle
LOCATION:

DOCKET NO.: 1472
DECIDED BY: Fuller Court (1890)
LOWER COURT:

ARGUED: Mar 04, 1890
DECIDED: Apr 14, 1890

Facts of the case

Suspecting a plot against Justice Stephen J. Field's life, the U.S. Attorney General appointed Neagle, a U.S. Marshall, to protect him. Acting as Field's bodyguard, Neagle shot and killed a man who appeared about to attack the justice. After California officials arrested and jailed Neagle, the U.S. sought his release by a writ of habeas corpus.

Question

Was the state obligated to obey the writ even though no national statute empowered the Attorney General to provide judges with bodyguards?