Clinton v. Goldsmith, 526 U.S. 529, 9 (1999)

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

Opinion of the Court

adequate basis for direct review in [the CAAF] after review in the intermediate court," 48 M. J., at 87.10


Even if the CAAF had some seriously arguable basis for jurisdiction in these circumstances, resort to the All Writs Act would still be out of bounds, being unjustifiable either as "necessary" or as "appropriate" in light of alternative remedies available to a servicemember demanding to be kept on the rolls.11 The All Writs Act invests a court with a power essentially equitable and, as such, not generally available to provide alternatives to other, adequate remedies at law. See, e. g., Carlisle v. United States, 517 U. S. 416, 429 (1996) (" 'The All Writs Act is a residual source of authority to issue writs that are not otherwise covered by statute' " (quoting Pennsylvania Bureau of Correction, 474 U. S., at 43)). See also 19 Moore's Federal Practice 201.40 ("[A] writ may not be used . . . when another method of review will suffice"). This limitation operates here, since other ad-10 The court, moreover, was simply wrong when it treated itself as a court of original jurisdiction, see supra, at 535.

11 These remedies are in addition to the review as of right by the military department's Court of Criminal Appeals of any court-martial sentence that includes punitive dismissal or discharge. See 10 U. S. C. 866(b)(1); 867(a) (decisions of the Court of Criminal Appeals subject to discretionary review by the CAAF). And of course, once a criminal conviction has been finally reviewed within the military system, and a servicemember in custody has exhausted other avenues provided under the UCMJ to seek relief from his conviction, see Noyd v. Bond, 395 U. S. 683, 693-699 (1969), he is entitled to bring a habeas corpus petition, see 28 U. S. C. 2241(c), claiming that his conviction is affected by a fundamental defect that requires that it be set aside. See, e. g., Burns v. Wilson, 346 U. S. 137, 142 (1953) (opinion of Vinson, C. J.). See also Calley v. Callaway, 519 F. 2d 184, 199 (CA5 1975); Gorko v. Commanding Officer, Second Air Force, 314 F. 2d 858, 859 (CA10 1963). In this case, however, respondent chose not to challenge his underlying conviction. See supra, at 533.


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