Ex parte Bakelite Corp.,
279 U.S. 438 (1929)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ex parte Bakelite Corp., 279 U.S. 438 (1929)

Ex parte Bakelite Corporation

No. 17 Original

Argued January 2, 3, 1929

Decided May 20, 1929

279 U.S. 438


1. The power of this Court to issue a writ of prohibition need not be determined in a case where, assuming the power to exist, there is no basis for exercising it. P. 279 U. S. 448.

2. Article III of the Constitution does not express the full authority of Congress to create courts. Other Articles invest Congress with powers in the exertion of which it may create inferior courts and clothe them with functions deemed essential or helpful in carrying these powers into execution. P. 279 U. S. 449.

3. Courts established under the specific power given in § 2 of Article III are called constitutional courts. They share in the exercise of the judicial power defined in that section, can be invested with no other jurisdiction, and have judges who hold office during good behavior, with no power in Congress to provide otherwise. Id.

4. Courts created by Congress in the exertion of other powers are called legislative courts. Their functions always are directed to the execution of one or more of such powers and are prescribed by Congress independently of § 2 of Article III, and their judges hold for such term as Congress prescribes, whether it be a fixed period of years or during good behavior. Id.

Page 279 U. S. 439

5. A duty to give decision which are advisory only, and so without force a judicial judgment, may be laid on a legislative court, but not on a constitutional court established under Article III. P. 279 U. S. 454.

6. In Miles v. Graham, 268 U. S. 501, the question whether the Court of Claims is a statutory or a constitutional court was not mooted; and the decision is not to be taken as attributing to that court a constitutional status contrary to earlier rulings. P. 279 U. S. 455.

7. A court may be a court of the United States within the meaning of § 375 of Title 28 U.S.C., Jud.Code § 260, and yet not be a constitutional court. Id.

8. The Court of Customs Appeals is a legislative court. P. 279 U. S. 458.

9. The matter involved in this case -- an appeal under § 316 of the Tariff Act of 1922 from findings of the Tariff Commission sustaining a charge of unfair competition and from the recommendation of the Commission to the President that the article to which the findings relate shall be excluded from entry -- is within the jurisdiction of the Court of Custom Appeals, whether or not it be a case or controversy within the meaning of Article III, § 2, of the Constitution. P. 279 U. S. 460.

Prohibition denied.

Petition for a writ of prohibition to the Court of Customs Appeals prohibiting it from entertaining an appeal from findings of the Tariff Commission. See also 16 Ct.Cust. App. 191; 53 T.D. 716.

Page 279 U. S. 446

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