From our private database of 15,100+ case briefs...

Reid v. Covert

United States Supreme Court
354 U.S. 1 (1957)


Facts

Executive agreements between the United States and Great Britain, and the United States and Japan, permitted U.S. military courts to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over offenses committed in those countries by American servicemen or their dependents. Covert (defendant), the wife of a U.S. Air Force sergeant, killed her husband at an airbase in England. Smith (defendant), the wife of another U.S. serviceman, killed her husband in Japan. Pursuant to the executive agreements, both women were tried and convicted without a jury trial or the traditional protections of the Bill of Rights by U.S. court-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in Great Britain and Japan, respectively. Covert petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that her conviction violated her Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights to trial by jury. The district court granted the petition, ordering Covert’s release, and the government appealed. Covert’s appeal was consolidated with a similar one by Smith, whom the district court had ruled against.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)

Concurrence (Harlan, J.)

Dissent (Clark, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 288,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 15,100 briefs, keyed to 205 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.