THE SUPREME COURT: Without Limitation

In the first formal test of the 1953 Submerged Lands Act, the U.S. Supreme Court this week denied Rhode Island and Alabama permission to file suits contesting the right of Congress to give seaboard states the land under U.S. coastal waters (tidelands). In an unsigned opinion, by a vote of 6-2 (Justices Hugo Black and William Douglas dissented; Chief Justice Earl Warren disqualified himself), the high court held that "the power over the public land . . . entrusted to Congress is without limitation."


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