Prize Cases

PETITIONER: The Prize Cases
LOCATION:

DOCKET NO.: None
DECIDED BY: Taney Court (1862-1863)
LOWER COURT:

ARGUED: Feb 10, 1863 / Feb 11, 1863 / Feb 12, 1863 / Feb 13, 1863 / Feb 16, 1863 / Feb 17, 1863 / Feb 18, 1863 / Feb 19, 1863 / Feb 20, 1863 / Feb 23, 1863 / Feb 24, 1863 / Feb 25, 1863
DECIDED: Mar 10, 1863

Facts of the case

Lincoln proclaimed a blockade of southern ports in April 1861. Congress authorized him to declare a state of insurrection by the Act of July 13, 1861. By the Act of August 6, 1861, Congress retroactively ratified all Lincoln's military action. These cases involved the seizure of vessels bound for Confederate ports prior to July 13, 1861.

Question

Did Lincoln act within his presidential powers defined by Article II when he ordered the seizures absent a declaration of war?