INS v. St. Cyr, 533 U.S. 289, 11 (2001)

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Cite as: 533 U. S. 289 (2001)

Opinion of the Court

mentions our authority to entertain original habeas petitions," and the statute "makes no mention of our authority to hear habeas petitions filed as original matters in this Court").10 Implications from statutory text or legislative history are not sufficient to repeal habeas jurisdiction; instead, Congress must articulate specific and unambiguous statutory directives to effect a repeal. Ex parte Yerger, 8 Wall., at 105 ("Repeals by implication are not favored. They are seldom admitted except on the ground of repugnancy; and never, we think, when the former act can stand together with the new act").11

In this case, the plain statement rule draws additional reinforcement from other canons of statutory construction. First, as a general matter, when a particular interpretation of a statute invokes the outer limits of Congress' power, we expect a clear indication that Congress intended that result. See Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. v. Florida Gulf Coast Building & Constr. Trades Council, 485 U. S. 568, 575 (1988). Second, if an otherwise acceptable construction of a statute

10 "In traditionally sensitive areas, . . . the requirement of [a] clear statement assures that the legislature has in fact faced, and intended to bring into issue, the critical matters involved in the judicial decision." Gregory v. Ashcroft, 501 U. S. 452, 461 (1991) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted); see United States v. Nordic Village, Inc., 503 U. S. 30, 33 (1992) ("Waivers of the [Federal] Government's sovereign immunity, to be effective, must be 'unequivocally expressed' "); Atascadero State Hospital v. Scanlon, 473 U. S. 234, 242 (1985) ("Congress may abrogate the States' constitutionally secured immunity from suit in federal court only by making its intention unmistakably clear in the language of the statute"); see also Eskridge & Frickey, Quasi-Constitutional Law: Clear Statement Rules as Constitutional Lawmaking, 45 Vand. L. Rev. 593, 597 (1992) ("[T]he Court . . . has tended to create the strongest clear statement rules to confine Congress's power in areas in which Congress has the constitutional power to do virtually anything").

11 Cf. Ruckelshaus v. Monsanto Co., 467 U. S. 986, 1018 (1984) ("[W]here two statutes are capable of co-existence, it is the duty of the courts, absent a clearly expressed congressional intention to the contrary, to regard each as effective" (internal quotation marks omitted)).


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