WYOMING V. IRVINE, 206 U. S. 278 (1907)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Wyoming v. Irvine, 206 U.S. 278 (1907)

Wyoming v. Irvine

No. 272

Argued April 19, 22, 1907

Decided May 13, 1907

206 U.S. 278


The land grants made for establishment of agricultural colleges by the Act of July 2, 1862, 12 Stat. 503, as amended by the Act of March 3, 1883, 22 Stat. 484, and the permanent appropriations for the support of such institutions under the Act of August 30, 1890, 26 Stat. 415, were made to the states themselves, and not to any of the institutions established by the states, Haire v. Rice, 204 U. S. 291, and the disposition of the interest on the land grant fund and the appropriation is wholly within the power of each state acting through its legislature in accordance with

Page 206 U. S. 279

the trust imposed upon it by the acts of Congress, and an institution, although established by the state for agricultural education, cannot compel the payment of any part thereof to it.

The plaintiff in error, the State of Wyoming, on the relation of the Wyoming Agricultural College and its officers, filed a petition in the Supreme Court of that state for a writ of mandamus against the defendant in error, the state treasurer. The object of the proceeding was to compel the state treasurer to pay to the treasurer of the college certain funds in his hands, being the proceeds of land grants and the amount of appropriations made by Congress for the promotion of education in agricultural and mechanical arts. An alternative writ issued, and the respondent appeared and demurred to the petition. The cause was then heard by the Supreme Court of Wyoming, and by that court the demurrer, which was regarded by court and counsel as sufficiently raising the merits of the controversy, was sustained and judgment rendered for the respondent. The case comes here upon writ of error, with allegations of violations of federal rights, which, so far as material to the decision, are stated in the opinion.

Page 206 U. S. 281

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