Arizona v. Manypenny

In Arizona v. Manypenny, 451 U.S. 232, 101 S.Ct. 1657, 68 L.Ed.2d 58 (1981), the Supreme Court discussed the statutory authority necessary for a Government appeal in a criminal case. The defendant in Manypenny was a federal officer charged with a state crime, who had removed his case to federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1442(a)(1) (1976). The officer was convicted, but the trial court entered a judgment of acquittal. Although state law would have permitted an appeal by the state within its own court system, no statute expressly authorized the state to appeal from federal district court to the federal court of appeals. The Supreme Court held that the statute authorizing an appeal within the state court system provided sufficient authority for the state's appeal in federal court. The Court reasoned that "the need to restrict appeals by the prosecutor reflected a prudential concern that individuals should be free from the harassment and vexation of unbounded litigation by the sovereign." 451 U.S. at 246, 101 S.Ct. at 1666. The rule barring Government appeals except when authorized by statute was developed to meet this concern. However, the Manypenny Court saw no reason to require express authorization by federal statute in every case. 451 U.S. at 247, 101 S.Ct. at 1667. Instead, the Court ruled that "the intention to restrict sovereign power in this area is adequately addressed when the legislature responsible for the power has spoken in express terms." Id. at 249, 101 S.Ct. at 1668. In other words, if a state statute authorizes an appeal by the state in state court, that statute will provide authority for an appeal of a removal case in federal court as well.