LOCATION:Federal Power Commission
DOCKET NO.: 75-145
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
CITATION: 425 US 649 (1976)
ARGUED: Mar 29, 1976
DECIDED: May 19, 1976
Lewis E. Brueggemann –
Steven L. Bunch – pro hac vice, by special leave of Court, and by Lewis E
Stev H. Chestnut – for petitioner
Steven Chestnut –
Media for Northern Cheyenne Tribe v. Hollowbreast
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – May 19, 1976 in Northern Cheyenne Tribe v. Hollowbreast
William J. Brennan, Jr.:
The other case Northern Cheyenne Tribe versus Hollowbreast comes to us from the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
The 1926 Northern Cheyenne Allotment Act, reserved coal and other mineral deposits underlying lands on the reservation allotted to the Indians, reserved those mineral deposits for Tribe’s benefits, but provided that 50 years from the effective date of that Act which would be in this year 1946, the minerals would become the property of the respective allottees.
In 1968, however, when of these Coal deposits became very valuable, Congress amended the 1926 Act to give the Tribe the right to the minerals in perpetuity and a question arose whether the original 1926 Act had given the allottees a vested interest, which Congress without paying just compensation could not deprive them as it sought to do by the 1968 amendments.
The District Court in this held that the allottees had not been given any vested interest by the 1926 Act.
The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit disagreed.
We agree with the District Court and accordingly reverse the Judgment of the Court of Appeals. Mr. Justice Blackmun has filed a concurring opinion.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you, Mr. Justice Brennan.