The majority opinion continued: The judgments a military tribunal renders “rest on the same basis, and are surrounded by the same considerations, and give conclusiveness to the judgments of other legal tribunals.” Ex parte Reed, 100 U. S. 13, 23. Accordingly, such judgments have res judicata and Double Jeopardy effect. The jurisdiction and structure of the court-martial system likewise resemble those of other courts whose decisions this Court reviews. Courts-martial try service members for garden-variety crimes unrelated to military service, and can impose terms of imprisonment and capital punishment. Their decisions are also subject to an appellate process similar to the one found in most States. And just as important, the constitutional foundation of courts-martial is not in the least insecure. See Dynes v. Hoover, 20 How. 65, 79.
The court-martial is older than the Constitution, was recognized and sanctioned by the Framers, and has been authorized here since the first Congress. Throughout that history, courts-martial have operated as instruments of military justice, not mere military command. They are bound, like any court, by the fundamental principles of law and the duty to adjudicate cases without partiality. Bamzai argues that the Court lacks jurisdiction because the CAAF is not an Article III court, but is instead in the Executive Branch. This Court’s appellate jurisdiction, however, covers more than the decisions of Article III courts. This Court can review proceedings of state courts. See Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, 1 Wheat. 304. It can also review certain non-Article III judicial systems created by Congress. In particular, the Court has upheld its exercise of appellate jurisdiction over decisions of non-Article III territorial courts, see United States v. Coe, 155 U. S. 76, and it has uncontroversially exercised appellate jurisdiction over non-Article III District of Columbia courts, see Palmore v. United States, 411 U. S. 389.
The United States is supposed to have a system of checks and balances in place between the three branches of government, the executive, legislative, and judicial. There has been a modern trend towards placing more power in the executive branch and taking it from the judiciary. The Court’s rejection of the suggestion that it has no jurisdiction to oversee a court created by another branch is heartening for anyone concerned with the president having unfettered executive power.