CHASE, JR. V. UNITED STATES, 256 U. S. 1 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Chase, Jr. v. United States, 256 U.S. 1 (1921)

Chase, Jr. v. United States

No. 242

Argued March 21, 22, 1921

Decided April 11, 1921

256 U.S. 1


1. The cession made by the Omaha Indians through the treaties of 1854 and 1865, the provision made by the latter for assigning parcels, in the retained reservation, to members of the tribe in severalty, for the exclusive use of themselves, their heirs, and descendants, the provisions made by the Act of 1882 (and the Act of 1893) for granting allotments in severalty in trust for 25 years and then in fee, and the further provision of the former act (not carried out) for conveying the unallotted residue of the reservation to the tribe in trust for a like period and then in fee discharged of the trust and of all charge and incumbrance whatsoever, did not deprive Congress of the power to make other disposition of the unallotted reservation for the benefit of the Indians. P. 256 U. S. 6. United States v. Chase, 245 U. S. 89; Sizemore v. Brady, 235 U. S. 441.

2. The right to obtain an allotment under the acts referred to was not a vested right as respects this power of Congress. P. 256 U. S. 7.

3. The Act of May 11, 1912, c. 121, 37 Stat. 111, by which the Secretary of the Interior was "authorized" to sell all the unallotted lands of the Omaha Reservation in parcels, with certain specific exceptions, covers the whole subject of the disposition of those lands, and supersedes the earlier provisions, supra, for allotting them. P. 256 U. S. 8.

Page 256 U. S. 2

4. Even if this act should be construed as permissive, rather than mandatory, the Secretary's refusal to allow further allotments because of it is an exercise of his discretion to reserve the land for disposition under it. P. 256 U. S. 8.

5. Whether a party defendant, upon reversal of a judgment in his favor, may introduce a new defense which was available on the former trial is not a question of jurisdiction, but of practice. P. 256 U. S. 9.

6. Held, that the courts below rightly permitted the United States to set up a statutory repeal at the second trial which was ignored at the first. P. 256 U. S. 10.

261 F.8d 3 affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the circuit court of appeals which affirmed a decree of the district court dismissing the bill in a suit brought by the appellant against the United States for an adjudication of his membership in the Omaha Tribe of Indians, with a right to select an allotment out of the lands of the Omaha Reservation. The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 256 U. S. 4

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