United States v. Maine

PETITIONER: United States
LOCATION: Republic of Cuba

DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)

CITATION: 420 US 515 (1975)
ARGUED: Feb 24, 1975 / Feb 25, 1975
DECIDED: Mar 17, 1975

Brice M. Clagett - for defendants
Robert H. Bork - for the plaintiff

Facts of the case


Media for United States v. Maine

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 25, 1975 in United States v. Maine
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 24, 1975 in United States v. Maine

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - March 17, 1975 in United States v. Maine

Warren E. Burger:

The disposition of No. 35 Original, United States against Maine and others will be announced by Mr. Justice White.

Byron R. White:

This is in the original action brought by the United States against 13 of the states with coast lines on the Atlantic Ocean.

The issue is the ownership of the seabed of the continental shelf lying outside the three mile limit within which the seabed has been granted to the states by the Submerged Lands Act.

The complaint of the United States alleges federal title to these lands in question and there's a dispute about it in the states.

The states answered denying the title of the United States and claiming title for themselves. We appointed Albert Maris as Special Master and referred the case to him.

The Special Master then severed the -- or recommended that the case against Florida be severed and consolidated with other proceedings and we agreed with him in that respect.

The Special Master then took extensive evidence and has now filed his report.

The United States accepts the report in all respects.

The states however have filed a brief and orally argued a rather extensive exceptions.

The report of the Special Master recommends that the Court enter a judgment for the United States.

It's his view and has been his been view and it's his view that the case is completely controlled by United States against California decided in 1947 and by the two cases that followed it, United States against Louisiana and United States against Texas.

We have considered the report and the exceptions and we agree with the Special Master.

We think that the case indeed is controlled by our three prior cases and that United States under those cases is entitled to judgment.

Although the states have made admirable efforts to persuade us that that those cases should be overruled, we declined to disturb them.

Our reasons for our conclusions are given in an opinion on file with the clerk.

And as I say, we have concluded the judgment to be on the United States and it is so ordered. Mr. Justice Douglas took no part in the decision or consideration of the case.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice White.