434 U.S. 1052 (1978), 77-504, Enomoto v. Wright

Docket Nº:No. 77-504
Citation:434 U.S. 1052, 98 S.Ct. 1223, 55 L.Ed.2d 756
Party Name:Jiro J. ENOMOTO, etc., et al. v. James C. WRIGHT et al
Case Date:February 21, 1978
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 1052

434 U.S. 1052 (1978)

98 S.Ct. 1223, 55 L.Ed.2d 756

Jiro J. ENOMOTO, etc., et al.

v.

James C. WRIGHT et al

No. 77-504

United States Supreme Court.

February 21, 1978

On appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Former decision, 429 U.S. 912, 97 S.Ct. 302.

Facts and opinion, 462 F.Supp. 397.

OPINION

[98 S.Ct. 1223] The judgment is affirmed.

Mr. Justice REHNQUIST, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE joins, dissenting.

Appellants seek to appeal to this Court a decision of a three-judge District Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1253. That section provides for a direct appeal from any "suit or proceeding required by any Act of Congress to be heard and determined by a district court of three judges." If no Act of Congress required a three-judge District Court to hear this suit, the decision cannot be appealed directly to this Court pursuant to § 1253 even though a three-judge court may have been in fact convened. Appeal lies instead to the United States Court of Appeals. Under such circumstances we do not have jurisdiction to consider the appeal. Board of Regents v. New Left Education Project, 404 U.S. 541, 92 S.Ct. 652, 30 L.Ed.2d 697 (1972);

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Moody v. Flowers, 387 U.S. 97, 87 S.Ct. 1544, 18 L.Ed.2d 643 (1967); Phillips v. United States, 312 U.S. 246, 61 S.Ct. 480, 85 L.Ed. 800 (1941). Because I believe that no Act of Congress required a three-judge District Court in this case, I believe that the Court therefore errs in considering the merits of the appeal.

Appellee prisoners sued appellants, officials of the California prison system, in the District Court for the Northern District of California contending that constitutionally insufficient procedural safeguards are provided a prisoner who is placed into administrative segregation. A three-judge court was convened under 28 U.S.C. § 2281 (now repealed) which at the time this action was filed provided for such a court whenever the constitutionality of a "State statute . . . or of an order made by an administrative board or commission acting under State statutes" is challenged.

It is the second clause of § 2281 that is relevant here since appellees challenge no [98 S.Ct. 1224] state statute. The District Court based its jurisdiction on a presumed challenge to various regulations promulgated and issued by the...

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