We have previously editorialized on U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon’s appointment of a special master to review materials seized from former President Donald T. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Estate. Now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has held that Judge Cannon improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction in appointing a special master. It vacated her order and the Justice Department regained access to all the seized documents for use in its criminal investigation.

In appointing the special master, the district court based its jurisdiction on the court’s “inherent authority” and equitable jurisdiction. A special master was named and his duties identified.