McLucas v. DeChamplain

LOCATION:Chicago, Illinois

DOCKET NO.: 73-1346
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)

CITATION: 421 US 21 (1975)
ARGUED: Dec 09, 1974
DECIDED: Apr 15, 1975

Leonard B. Boudin – for appellee
Robert H. Bork – for appellants

Facts of the case


Media for McLucas v. DeChamplain

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – December 09, 1974 in McLucas v. DeChamplain

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – April 15, 1975 in McLucas v. DeChamplain

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion in No. 73-1346, McLucas against DeChamplain will be announced by Mr. Justice Powell.

Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:

This case is here on appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Appellee, an Air Force Master Sergeant was charged with unauthorized use of classified military documents in violation of 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The appellee filed this action in the District Court seeking to enjoin the impending court-martial proceeding.

He avert that Article 134 was unconstitutionally vague and also that he was denied due process by the military court’s denial of access by appellee’s civilian counsel to certain classified documents.

The District Court relying on decisions of the Court of Appeals granted a preliminary injunction.

Subsequent decisions of this Court in Parker against Levy and Secretary of the Navy against Avrech sustained the validity of Article 134.

Our recent decision in Schlesinger against Councilman also disposes of appellee’s claim with respect to access by his civilian counsel to the classified documents.

As we said in Schlesinger, when a serviceman is charged with crimes by military authorities and can show no harm other than that attended upon resolution of his case within in the military court system, the Federal District Courts must refrain from intervention.

We accordingly vacate the injunction and remand the case to the District Court.

Mr. Justice Brennan filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in which Mr. Justice Douglas and Mr. Justice Marshall joined.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Powell.