Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ex Parte McCardle case brief

Ex Parte McCardle case brief summary
74 U.S. 506 (1868)

Defendant challenged a judgment from the Circuit Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, which denied his application for habeas corpus relief from his custody by military authorities while his trial was pending before a military commission.


  • Defendant was held in military custody for trial before a military commission. 
  • A statute was in force that provided that judicial courts of the United States had the power to grant a writ of habeas corpus.
  •  The statute further stated that an appeal could be taken to the circuit court of the United States for the district, and from the judgment of the said circuit court to the U.S. Supreme Court. A later statute repealed the earlier statute to disallow an appeal from the judgment of the circuit court to the Supreme Court or the exercise of any such jurisdiction by the Supreme Court on appeals. 
  • The court dismissed the case for want of jurisdiction, but stated that the whole appellate power of the court, in cases of habeas corpus, was not denied. 
  • The later act did not except from that jurisdiction any cases but appeals from circuit courts under the earlier act.


The court dismissed the case for want of jurisdiction because the provision of the earlier act was expressly repealed.

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