All Writs Act

Pursuant to 28 USCS § 1651, the federal courts shall issue all writs which are essential or appropriate in aid of their jurisdiction and according to the usages and principles of law.  A judge or a justice who has jurisdiction shall issue an alternative writ.

In Denedo v. United States, 66 M.J. 114 (C.A.A.F. 2008) the court stated that “although military appellate courts are among those empowered to issue extraordinary writs under the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C.S. § 1651(a), the Act confines a court to issuance of process in aid of its existing statutory jurisdiction and does not enlarge that jurisdiction.”

In Loving v. United States, 62 M.J. 235 (C.A.A.F. 2005) the court stated that the All Writs Act authorizes employment of extraordinary writs, and confines the authority to the issuances of process in aid of the issuing court’s jurisdiction.

The All Writs Act is used to remove a case from state to a federal court.  The All Writs Act may also be available for interim relief in cases where agencies have abused its power.  In Cheney v. United States Dist. Court, 542 U.S. 367 (U.S. 2004), the court stated that before issuing mandamus, the Court of Appeals should determine if there are exceptional circumstances amounting to a judicial usurpation of power or abuse of discretion.


Inside All Writs Act