Citation. 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 506, 19 L.Ed. 264 (1869).
Brief Fact Summary.
McCardle sought habeas corpus relief under the 1867 Act. While the case was pending, Congress repealed the 1867 Act.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
The Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction, as conferred by the Constitution, is subject to certain exceptions and regulations by Congress.
McCardle was arrested for publishing inflammatory newspaper articles. He sought habeas corpus relief under the 1867 Act in federal court on the ground that the law under which he was arrested was unconstitutional. While the case was pending, Congress repealed the 1867 Act.
Does Congress’ repeal of the 1867 Act remove jurisdiction in McCardle’s pending case?
Although the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is conferred by the Constitution, it is conferred “with such exceptions and under such regulations as Congress shall make.” Jurisdiction is power to declare the law, and when it ceases to exist, the only function remaining to the court is that of announcing the fact and dismissing the case.