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In all cases where a public act or order rests in executive discretion, neither the President nor his authorized agent is personally civilly responsible for the consequences.
The President of the United States determined that it was necessary to protect the citizens from an irresponsible and marauding community that had been established. Accordingly, the President gave orders to that effect to the Secretary of the Navy who in turn gave orders to the serviceman. The serviceman executed his orders, and an action was filed against him, which claimed that neither the President, nor the Secretary of the Navy had the authority to give the orders relied upon by the serviceman; thus, they afforded the serviceman no ground of justification.
Was the action against the serviceman concerning his execution of orders given to him by the Secretary of the Navy meritorious?
The court entered a judgment in favor of the serviceman and held that the duty to protect the lives or property of the citizens rested with the President. Acts of lawless violence required prompt and decided action. In all cases where a public act or order rested in executive discretion, neither he, nor his authorized agent was personally civilly responsible for the consequences. The President's decision was final and conclusive and justified the serviceman in the execution of his orders that were given by the Secretary of the Navy.