United States v. Grand River Dam Authority

PETITIONER: United States
RESPONDENT: Grand River Dam Authority
LOCATION: Bonneville Dam

DOCKET NO.: 503
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 363 US 229 (1960)
ARGUED: May 17, 1960
DECIDED: Jun 13, 1960

Facts of the case

Question

Media for United States v. Grand River Dam Authority

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - May 17, 1960 in United States v. Grand River Dam Authority

Earl Warren:

Number 503, United States, Petitioner, versus Grand River Dam Authority.

Is there are no appearance for the respondent?

You -- you can answer for the Court -- to the Court that if there's no --

J. Lee Rankin:

Counsel, wouldn't otherwise be present today.

There are no way to report the present time (Inaudible)

Earl Warren:

Well, they should be here now.

Now at the -- well, Mr. Solicitor General, I don't suppose we can go on with the matter in the absence of counsels, so we'll have to -- so we'll have to take a recess now until 2:30.

Number 503, United States, Petitioner (Inaudible)

Jess Larson:

Mr. Chief Justice --

Earl Warren:

(Inaudible)

Jess Larson:

I -- I apologize to the Court for the mix up.

It was on account of my office receiving some erroneous information and not the fault of anyone with the Court at all and I apologize to the Court.

Earl Warren:

(Inaudible)

Jess Larson:

I'm sorry, Your Honor.

Earl Warren:

(Inaudible)

J. Lee Rankin:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

This case involves the question of whether the United States must compensate a state authority for a state franchise to build a dam on a nonnavigable river in Oklahoma.

William O. Douglas:

On a navigable river?

J. Lee Rankin:

A nonnavigable.

And also, whether is required to compensate that same authority for water rights that it claims to have vested under state law.

Charles E. Whittaker:

Franchise and waterways.

J. Lee Rankin:

That's all.

This case does not involve any kind of physical property in the sense of fast lands or overflowing fast lands or riparian lands of any kind that all of that part has been either settlers in the process of -- of payment, so that there's no issue between the parties about that.

Charles E. Whittaker:

Now, may I ask you, that land taken by condemnations of fast lands?

J. Lee Rankin:

Partially and partially by -- I think there are some agreements about part of it, but there is no problem about it.

No issue in the case about it.

Charles E. Whittaker:

(Inaudible)

J. Lee Rankin:

There is no issue in the case about it.

And the claims here are whether or not, a state franchise.

That is this -- the permit to build a dam that the State issued has to be compensated for when the United States builds the dam itself and whether or not there are vested water rights that the respondent has that have to be compensated for.