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HIRSHBERG V. COOKE, 336 U. S. 210 (1949)

U.S. Supreme Court

Hirshberg v. Cooke, 336 U.S. 210 (1949)

United States ex Rel. Hirshberg v. Cooke

No. 231

Argued January 13, 1949

Decided February 28, 1949

336 U.S. 210


1. A Navy court-martial has no jurisdiction to try an enlisted man for a violation of Art. 8 of the Articles for the Government of the Navy, 34 U.S.C. § 1200, Art. 8, committed during a prior enlistment terminated by an honorable discharge, even though he reenlisted on the day following his discharge. Pp. 336 U. S. 211-219.

2. This conclusion is supported by the language and legislative history of 34 U.S.C. § 1200, Art. 14 (Eleventh), specifically authorizing trial after discharge of offenders against Art. 14. Pp. 336 U. S. 214-216.

3. It is also supported by longstanding administrative interpretation, including 31 Op.Atty.Gen. 521. Pp. 336 U. S. 216-217.

4. 34 U.S.C. § 591, authorizing the Secretary of the Navy, with the approval of the President, to adopt and alter regulations and orders for the control of the Navy, does not authorize the Navy to extend its court-martial jurisdiction beyond the limits Congress had fixed. Pp. 336 U. S. 217-218.

5. Nor can a Navy regulation claimed to grant jurisdiction in cases such as this be sustained as a revision of the longstanding administrative interpretation of Art. 8. Pp. 336 U. S. 218-219.

168 F.2d 503 reversed.

Petitioner was convicted by a Naval court-martial for an offense committed during a prior enlistment. In a habeas corpus proceeding, a federal district court held the judgment void and ordered his release from custody. 73 F.Supp. 990. The Court of Appeals reversed. 168 F.2d 503. This Court granted certiorari. 335 U.S. 842. Cooke was substituted as the party respondent. 335 U.S. 882. Reversed, p. 336 U. S. 219.

Page 336 U. S. 211

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