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ment of the reasons why the Supreme Court should exercise its discretion in favor of reviewing the decision of the court below. The petition is granted, without the issuance of any writ, if the Supreme Court decides to hear the case or otherwise dispose of it itself.

Several important classes of cases come to the Supreme Court by way of appeal. In such cases, the appellant is required to file a Jurisdictional Statement, which should state why his case qualifies for Supreme Court review and why it has sufficient merit to warrant further hearing by the Court. In the relatively rare cases in which the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction is involved, or in which an extraordinary writ is requested, the complainant or petitioner must preface his pleading with a motion for leave to file it. The Jurisdictional Statement and the motion for leave to file enable the Court to decide whether to hear the case further or to dispose of it summarily. In cases reaching the Court by way of certificate from a court of appeals or the Court of Claims, the Supreme Court examines the certificate preliminarily before ordering the case placed on the calendar for argument.

Thus every case coming to the Supreme Court, whether by certiorari or otherwise, first is subjected to preliminary scrutiny to determine whether any further action by the Supreme Court is warranted. The importance of the sifting process is proved by the fact that in the last few terms the Court disposed of 87 per cent of the cases submitted to it without argument.

Those cases which survive this process are placed on the calendar for argument. The parties then have an opportunity to file briefs on the merits, and to argue orally.

These jurisdictional statutes give the Supreme Court jurisdiction to review, at some time and in some manner, all cases in lower federal courts, and all cases in state courts in which the determination of a question as to the meaning or effect of a federal statute, treaty, constitutional provision, right or immunity is essential to the decision and in which such a question is properly raised.

The procedural framework. Experience has proved, however, that the Supreme Court can not possibly hear argument in and decide after full consideration more than a small proportion of the cases in the above classes which parties would like to bring before it. The consequence is that every type of case which reaches the Supreme Court goes through a preliminary sifting process, which is survived only by those cases which the Court deems sufficiently important or meritorious to warrant further review.

The principal device by which the Court is protected against being flooded with more cases than it could possibly handle is the statutory requirement, for most classes of cases which may come to the Supreme Court, that the parties first petition the Court for a writ of certiorari. Historically, this was a writ issued to an inferior body ordering it to certify a record in a case to a higher tribunal. In the Supreme Court, however, the litigant seeking Supreme Court review must file the certified record of the lower court along with his petition for certiorari, and it is not necessary for the Court to issue any writ. The petition is in fact-or at least should be—a state

8 Rule 43 provides that "Whenever application for a writ of certiorari to review a decision of any court is granted, the clerk shall enter an order to that effect, and shall forthwith notify the court below and counsel of record of the granting of the application. The order shall direct that the certified transcript of record on file here be treated as though sent up in response to a formal writ. A formal writ shall not issue unless specially directed." The writ was issued in a recent case in which petitioner was unable to obtain the record from the lower court. In re Summers, 325 U. S. 561, 562-563n.

ment of the reasons why the Supreme Court should exercise its discretion in favor of reviewing the decision of the court below. The petition is granted, without the issuance of any writ, if the Supreme Court decides to hear the case or otherwise dispose of it itself.

Several important classes of cases come to the Supreme Court by way of appeal. In such cases, the appellant is required to file a Jurisdictional Statement, which should state why his case qualifies for Supreme Court review and why it has sufficient merit to warrant further hearing by the Court. In the relatively rare cases in which the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction is involved, or in which an extraordinary writ is requested, the complainant or petitioner must preface his pleading with a motion for leave to file it. The Jurisdictional Statement and the motion for leave to file enable the Court to decide whether to hear the case further or to dispose of it summarily. In cases reaching the Court by way of certificate from a court of appeals or the Court of Claims, the Supreme Court examines the certificate preliminarily before ordering the case placed on the calendar for argument.

Thus every case coming to the Supreme Court, whether by certiorari or otherwise, first is subjected to preliminary scrutiny to determine whether any further action by the Supreme Court is warranted. The importance of the sifting process is proved by the fact that in the last few terms the Court disposed of 87 per cent of the cases submitted to it without argument.

Those cases which survive this process are placed on the calendar for argument. The parties then have an opportunity to file briefs on the merits, and to argue orally.

II

JURISDICTION TO REVIEW

DECISIONS OF FEDERAL COURTS

A. Decisions of United States Courts of Appeals Certiorari

Congress has provided, in 28 U.S.C. §1254 (1), that the Supreme Court may review cases in the courts of appeals (prior to 1948, known as the circuit courts of appeals) by a "writ of certiorari granted upon the petition of any party to any civil or criminal case, before or after rendition of judgment or decree." It is to be noted that the jurisdiction thus granted is of an extremely comprehensive nature. It extends to "any civil or criminal case" in the courts of appeals. There are no limitations as to the parties, the status of the case, or the amount in controversy. Nor are there any restrictions as to the matter at issue or the nature of the decision below. And while various regulatory statutes make provision for review by the Court on certiorari to the courts of appeals of cases arising under those statutes, such provisions merely reflect the unhampered scope of $1254 (1) without in any way detracting therefrom. In short, the Supreme Court's certiorari jurisdiction over cases in the courts of appeals is plenary.

Although, as indicated in Chapter IV, infra, pp. 115-16, the Court will usually only grant certiorari to review a final judgment, the fact that the decision below lacks finality is no bar to the exercise of the Supreme Court's jurisdiction to review

cases in the courts of appeals (as contrasted with cases in state courts, as to which see pp. 60-72, infra). As long as the transcript of record remains in the court of appeals and a timely petition for certiorari is filed, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to take the case whatever its status in the lower courts. The Conqueror, 166 U.S. 110, 113. Thus the Court has granted certiorari to review a judgment of a court of appeals denying a motion to dismiss (Land v. Dollar, 330 U. S. 731, 734n.), or remanding a case for a new trial (United States v. General Motors Corp., 323 U. S. 373, 377), when an important question of law is presented. Moreover, the Court on certiorari to review a final decree can reach back and correct errors in the interlocutory proceedings below, even though no attempt was made to secure review of the interlocutory decree or even though such an attempt was made without success. Toledo Scale Co. v. Computing Scale Co., 261 U. S. 399, 418.

It is expressly contemplated by §1254 (1) that the Supreme Court may utilize its certiorari jurisdiction either "before or after rendition of judgment" by a court of appeals. The only prerequisite to the exercise of this power is that the case have been docketed in the court of appeals-which means that the notice of appeal and the certified record from the district court must have been filed. Gay v. Ruff, 292 U. S. 25, 30. The purpose of granting the Supreme Court the rarely exercised power to take a case from a court of appeals before judgment was to make it possible for extremely important cases, in which the public interest required an immediate authoritative decision, to reach the Supreme Court without delay. The Supreme Court's authority to grant certiorari before judgment in the courts of appeals has enabled it to grant a petition for certiorari five days after the judgment of the district court. United States

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