Clinton v. Goldsmith, 526 U.S. 529, 6 (1999)

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Opinion of the Court

v. United States, 510 U. S. 163, 166-169 (1994), it confined the court's jurisdiction to the review of specified sentences imposed by courts-martial: the CAAF has the power to act "only with respect to the findings and sentence as approved by the [court-martial's] convening authority and as affirmed or set aside as incorrect in law by the Court of Criminal Appeals." 10 U. S. C. 867(c).5 Cf. Parisi v. Davidson, 405 U. S. 34, 44 (1972) (Court of Military Appeals lacked express authority over claim for discharge based on conscientious objector status). Despite these limitations, the CAAF asserted jurisdiction and purported to justify reliance on the All Writs Act in this case on the view that "Congress intended [it] to have broad responsibility with respect to administration of military justice," 48 M. J., at 86-87,6 a position that Goldsmith urges us to adopt. This we cannot do.

While the All Writs Act authorizes employment of extraordinary writs, it confines the authority to the issuance of process "in aid of" the issuing court's jurisdiction. 28 U. S. C. 1651(a) ("[A]ll courts established by Act of Congress may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law"). Thus, although military appellate courts are among those empowered to issue extraordinary writs under the Act, see Noyd v. Bond, 395 U. S. 683, 695, n. 7 (1969), the express terms of the Act confine the power of the CAAF to issuing process "in aid of" its existing statu-5 When Congress established the Court of Military Appeals (the CAAF's predecessor), it similarly confined its jurisdiction to the review of specified sentences imposed by courts-martial. See Act of May 5, 1950, ch. 169, Art. 67(d), 64 Stat. 130. See also H. R. Rep. No. 491, 81st Cong., 1st Sess., 32 (1949); S. Rep. No. 486, 81st Cong., 1st Sess., 3, 28-29 (1949).

6 One judge was even more emphatic: "We should use our broad jurisdiction under the [UCMJ] to correct injustices like this and we need not wait for another court to perhaps act. . . . Our Court has the responsibility of protecting the rights of all servicemembers in court-martial matters." 48 M. J., at 91 (Sullivan, J., concurring).

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