UNITED STATES V. MAINE, 420 U. S. 515 (1975)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Maine, 420 U.S. 515 (1975)

United States v. Maine

No. 35, Orig.

Argued February 24-25, 1975

Decided March 17, 1975

420 U.S. 515


The United States, to the exclusion of defendant Atlantic Coastal States, held to have sovereign rights over the seabed and subsoil underlying the Atlantic Ocean, lying more than three geographical miles seaward from the ordinary low-water mark and from the outer limits of inland coastal waters, extending seaward to the outer edge of the Continental Shelf, that area, like the seabed adjacent to the coastline, being in the domain of the Nation, rather than of the separate States. United States v. California, 332 U. S. 19; United States v. Louisiana, 339 U. S. 699; United States v. Texas, 339 U. S. 707. And this rule that the paramount rights to the offshore seabed inhere in the Federal Government as an incident of national sovereignty is confirmed by both the Submerged Lands Act of 1953 and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953. Pp. 420 U. S. 519-528.

WHITE, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which all other Members joined except DOUGLAS, J., who took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Page 420 U. S. 516

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