United States v. Texas, 339 U.S. 707 (1950)

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Author: Justice Frankfurter

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United States v. Texas, 339 U.S. 707 (1950)

MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER.*

Time has not made the reasoning of United States v. California, 332 U.S. 19, more persuasive, but the issue there decided is no longer open for me. It is relevant, however, to note that, in rejecting California’s claim of ownership in the off-shore oil, the Court carefully abstained from recognizing such claim of ownership by the United States. This was emphasized when the Court struck out the proprietary claim of the United States from the terms of the decree proposed by the United States in the California case.**

I must leave it to those who deem the reasoning of that decision right to define its scope and apply it, particularly to the historically very different situation of Texas. As is made clear in the opinion of MR. JUSTICE REED, the submerged lands now in controversy were part of the domain of Texas when she was on her own. The Court now decides that, when Texas entered the Union, she lost what she had and the United States acquired it. How that shift came to pass remains for me a puzzle.

* [REPORTER’S NOTE: This is also the opinion of MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER in No. 12, Original, United States v. Louisiana, ante, p. 699.]

** The decree proposed by the United States read in part:

1. The United States of America is now, and has been at all times pertinent hereto, possessed of paramount rights of proprietorship in, and full dominion and power over, the lands, minerals and other things underlying the Pacific Ocean. . . .

The italicized words were omitted in the Court’s decree. 332 U.S. 804, 805.

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Chicago: Frankfurter, "Frankfurter, J., Separate Opinion," United States v. Texas, 339 U.S. 707 (1950) in 339 U.S. 707 339 U.S. 724. Original Sources, accessed February 3, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=85GIN1YUWA8LC8I.

MLA: Frankfurter. "Frankfurter, J., Separate Opinion." United States v. Texas, 339 U.S. 707 (1950), in 339 U.S. 707, page 339 U.S. 724. Original Sources. 3 Feb. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=85GIN1YUWA8LC8I.

Harvard: Frankfurter, 'Frankfurter, J., Separate Opinion' in United States v. Texas, 339 U.S. 707 (1950). cited in 1950, 339 U.S. 707, pp.339 U.S. 724. Original Sources, retrieved 3 February 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=85GIN1YUWA8LC8I.