Swain v. Pressley

LOCATION:James R. Browning Courthouse

DOCKET NO.: 75-811
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 430 US 372 (1977)
ARGUED: Jan 19, 1977
DECIDED: Mar 22, 1977

Mark W. Foster – for respondent
Robert H. Bork – for petitioner

Facts of the case


Media for Swain v. Pressley

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – January 19, 1977 in Swain v. Pressley

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – March 22, 1977 in Swain v. Pressley

John Paul Stevens:

In Swain against Pressley, the respondent is in custody pursuant to a sentence imposed by the superior court of the District of Columbia.

He has filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus in United States District Court for the District of Columbia asking that Court to review the constitutionality of the proceedings that led to his conviction and sentence.

The question presented by this case is whether §110(g) of the District of Columbia Code prevents the District Court from entertaining the application.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that the District Court should entertain the application.

We anonymously reversed because we find that the statutory language plainly bars the application.

The reasons for our decision are set forth in an opinion which contains two parts.

All the members of the Court have joined part one of the opinion.

The Chief Justice has filed a concurring opinion which is joined by Mr. Justice Blackmun and Mr. Justice Rehnquist which does not join the second part of the Court’s opinion but does join the judgment.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Stevens.