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Abolition of Mandatory Appellate Jurisdiction

Cases in the Courts of Appeals may be reviewed by the Supreme Court by writ of certiorari or by certification of a question. 28 USCS § 1254 provides that cases in the courts of appeals may be reviewed by the Supreme Court by the following methods:

  • By writ of certiorari granted upon the petition of any party to any civil or criminal case, before or after rendition of judgment or decree;
  • By certification at any time by a court of appeals of any question of law in any civil or criminal case as to which instructions are desired, and upon such certification the Supreme Court may give binding instructions or require the entire record to be sent up for decision of the entire matter in controversy.

In 1988, the mandatory appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court was eliminated.  Thus, effective September 25, 1988, Courts of Appeals’ judgments rendered on or after that date may be appealed to the Supreme Court only by a petition for writ of certiorari[i].

[i] Carolina Power & Light Co. v. United States, 48 Fed. Cl. 35 (Fed. Cl. 2000)

Inside Abolition of Mandatory Appellate Jurisdiction