Ex Parte McCardle

U.S. Case Law

Legal Definition of Ex Parte McCardle 

74 U.S. 506 (1869), recognized that the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction can be limited by Congressional act, thus establishing Congress's legislative supremacy over both the executive and judicial branches of the federal government. William H. McCardle, a Mississippi editor who was jailed for sedition after criticizing federal Reconstruction efforts, appealed to the Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus. Since Congress had passed a law stripping the Court of its power of judicial review with regard to Reconstruction measures, the Court dismissed McCardle's appeal on the ground that it lacked jurisdiction over such matters. The case marked the peak of the Radical Republican power to determine national policy.

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