Clinton v. Goldsmith, 526 U.S. 529, 5 (1999)

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Cite as: 526 U. S. 529 (1999)

Opinion of the Court

ruption of his HIV medication during his incarceration. The Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to act, and it was in Goldsmith's appeal from that determination that he took the first steps to raise the issue now before us, an entirely new claim that the Air Force's action to drop him from the rolls was unconstitutional. He did not challenge his underlying court-martial conviction (the appeal period for which had expired, see Rule 19(a)(1), CAAF Rules of Practice and Procedure). But he charged that the proposed action violated the Ex Post Facto Clause, U. S. Const., Art. I, 9, cl. 3 (arguing that the statute authorizing it had been enacted after the date of his conviction), and the Double Jeopardy Clause, U. S. Const., Amdt. 5 (arguing that the action would inflict successive punishment based on the same conduct underlying his first conviction). 48 M. J. 84, 89-90 (CAAF 1998). The CAAF, on a division of 3 to 2, granted the petition for extraordinary relief and relied on the All Writs Act, 28 U. S. C. 1651(a), in enjoining the President and various other Executive Branch officials from dropping respondent from the rolls of the Air Force.3 We granted certiorari, 525 U. S. 961 (1998), and now reverse.4


When Congress exercised its power to govern and regulate the Armed Forces by establishing the CAAF, see U. S. Const., Art. I, 8, cl. 14; 10 U. S. C. 941; see generally Weiss

3 Because respondent had been released from confinement, the CAAF denied respondent's writ-appeal petition concerning his medical treatment claim as moot. See 48 M. J. 84, 87-88 (1998).

As a result of the CAAF's order, respondent has not been dropped from the rolls, and has returned to active duty status. The Air Force initiated an administrative separation proceeding against respondent, see 10 U. S. C. 1181, which has been deferred pending resolution of this case. See Brief for Petitioners 8, n. 2.

4 In light of our holding that the CAAF lacked jurisdiction in this case, we do not reach the merits of respondent's double jeopardy and ex post facto claims.


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