United States v. District Court - 334 U.S. 258 (1948)


U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. District Court, 334 U.S. 258 (1948)

United States v. United States District Court

for the Southern District of New York

No. 527

Argued April 19-20, 1948

Decided May 24, 1948

334 U.S. 258

Syllabus

After a circuit court of appeals has heard and determined an appeal in an antitrust case certified to it by this Court under the Act of June 9, 1944 (because of want at the time of a quorum of Justices of this Court qualified to participate in the consideration of the case), the circuit court of appeals has jurisdiction to issue a writ of mandamus to compel the district court to comply with its mandate, even though the term during which the circuit court of appeals issued its mandate to the district court has expired and even though it be assumed arguendo that all further appeals in the case would come to this Court. Pp. 334 U. S. 259-265.

(a) The broad power conferred upon the federal courts by § 262 of the Judicial Code includes the power to issue a writ of mandamus either in exercise of appellate jurisdiction or in aid of appellate jurisdiction. P. 334 U. S. 263.

(b) The fact that mandamus is closely connected with the appellate power does not necessarily mean that the power to issue it is absent where there is no existing or future, but only a past, appellate jurisdiction to which it can relate. P. 334 U. S. 263.

(c) A high function of mandamus is to keep a lower tribunal from interposing unauthorized obstructions to enforcement of a judgment of a higher court. P. 334 U. S. 264.

(d) The Act of June 9, 1944, gave the circuit court of appeals the full amplitude of judicial power to deal with a cause certified to it thereunder -- even though it be assumed arguendo that any further appeals in the case would come to this Court. Pp. 334 U. S. 264-265.

164 F.2d 159, reversed.

The Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a petition for a writ of mandamus to require the District Court to vacate a portion of its judgment in an antitrust case certified by this Court to the Circuit Court of Appeals under the Act of June 9, 1944, 58 Stat. 272, and remanded by

Page 334 U. S. 259

the latter to the District Court. 164 F.2d 159. This Court granted certiorari, 333 U.S. 841. Reversed, p. 334 U. S. 265.



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