Saturday, December 7, 2013

Muskrat v. United States case brief

Muskrat v. United States case brief summary
219 U.S. 346 (1911)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiffs petitioned in the United States Court of Claims to determine the validity of congressional acts, which increased the number of persons entitled to share in the final distribution of lands and funds of the Cherokees, seeking a declaration that the acts were unconstitutional and void. Plaintiffs appealed from a decision of the Court of Claims, which sustained the validity of the acts and dismissed plaintiffs' petitions.

DISCUSSION

  • The United States Supreme Court held that plaintiffs' petitions brought to determine the validity of congressional acts presented no justiciable controversy within the authority of the Court, acting within the limitations of the Constitution of the United States under which it was created. 
  • The Court held that plaintiffs' attempt to obtain a judicial declaration of the validity of the Act of Congress of April 26, 1906, c. 1876, 34 Stat. 137, was not presented in a "case" or "controversy," to which, under the Constitution, the judicial power alone extended. 
  • Thus, the Court reversed the judgments and remanded to the lower court with directions to dismiss the petitions for want of jurisdiction.

CONCLUSION
The Court reversed the judgments of the court below, and remanded to the lower court with directions to dismiss the petitions for want of jurisdiction, on the grounds that plaintiffs' petitions were not presented in a "case" or "controversy."

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