Ex parte McCardle

PETITIONER: Ex parte McCardle

DECIDED BY: Chase Court (1867-1870)

ARGUED: Mar 02, 1869 / Mar 02, 1868 / Mar 03, 1868 / Mar 04, 1868 / Mar 05, 1868 / Mar 09, 1868 / Mar 19, 1869
DECIDED: Apr 12, 1869

Facts of the case

William McCardle was arrested by federal authorities in 1867 for writing and publishing a series of editorials in his Mississippi newspaper. The editorials were sharply critical of Reconstruction. McCardle sought a writ of habeas corpus on the ground that the Reconstruction Acts under which he was arrested were unconstitutional. McCardle appealed to the Supreme Court under an 1867 congressional statute that conferred jurisdiction on appeal to the High Court. After hearing arguments in the case, but prior to announcing a decision, the Congress withdrew its 1867 act conferring jurisdiction.


May the Congress withdraw jurisdiction from the High Court after that jurisdiction has been given?