United States v. Nevada

PETITIONER: United States
RESPONDENT: Nevada
LOCATION: McDonnell Douglas Corporation Factory

DOCKET NO.: 59 ORIG
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 412 US 534 (1973)
ARGUED: Apr 16, 1973
DECIDED: Jun 11, 1973

Facts of the case

Question

Media for United States v. Nevada

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 16, 1973 in United States v. Nevada

Warren E. Burger:

This morning in number 59 original, the United States against the states of Nevada and California.

Mr. Solicitor General, you may proceed whenever you are ready.

Griswold:

May it please the Court.

This case is here on a motion by the United States or leave to file an original complaints against the states of Nevada and California.

United States appears primarily in a fiduciary capacity on behalf of the Pyramid Lake Indians of the Paiute Tribe.

United States does allege the ownership of certain lands and water rights and its own right but it would not be here if that was its only claim.

The basic claim relates to the Pyramid Lake Indian reservation in Nevada.

The general location is indicated by the map which we have included in the pocket at the back of our complaint and brief and this is referred to in the complaint.

Warren E. Burger:

Unfortunately, Mr. Solicitor General, in the shuffling of papers, my map got lost if you will have -- if you happen to have an extra one.

(Inaudible) supplied another one now.

Griswold:

The map will show that Pyramid Lake is in the upper center, it is fed by the Truckee River which rises in Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is partly in California and partly in Nevada.

The river runs for 20 miles in California where it obtains most of its water and then it flows for 65 miles in Nevada until it empties into Pyramid Lake.

I am sorry, Mr. Solicitor, mine was missing too.

Do you mind stating that again?

Griswold:

Pyramid Lake is fed by the Truckee River which has its outlet -- which is the outlet of Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is located partly in California and partly in Nevada.

The river runs for 20 miles in California where it gets most of its water and then it flows for 65 miles in Nevada until it empties into Pyramid Lake.

The Court will note on the map just above the center, the Derby diversion dam and then the Truckee Canal, which diverts a substantial part of the water of the Truckee River into the Carson River system and the Carson River system with the water from the Truckee River produces the Newlands Irrigation District which is the green area in the right part of the map.

The way the map appears, one could get the impression that the Carson River is also an outlet of Lake Tahoe, but that is wrong; the Carson River rises in the mountains to the east of Lake Tahoe and the water from Lake Tahoe gets to the Newlands Irrigation District through the Truckee Canal from the Truckee River and thereby represents water which does not flow on to Pyramid Lake.

Pyramid Lake is 30 miles north of Reno.

It's a remarkable lake.

Some say it's the finest desert lake in the country.

The Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation originated on November 29, 1859 and was confirmed by President Grant by an executive order issued on March 23, 1874.

The Pyramid Lake Indians had a culture which was based primarily on fish on which they lived, and which they used for bargain.

And the lake provided a large and remarkable fishery and the purpose of including the lake in the reservation was to maintain the source of the Indians' livelihood.

Two fishers mentioned somewhere in these papers, the variety of cutthroat trout and then another fish I have never heard of.

Griswold:

Yes, Mr. Justice, that I heard of it in connection with this case, it's spelled cui-ui and is pronounced cui-ui.

Can you say that again?

Griswold:

Cui-ui and it's pronounced cui-ui.