UNITED STATES v. ALASKA

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
84 ORIG
Petitioner 
United States
Respondent 
Alaska
Opinion 
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the defendant)
(Department of Justice, argued the cause for the plaintiff)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

The United States disputed the ownership of submerged lands along Alaska's Arctic Coast. The Alaska Statehood Act expressly provided that the federal Submerged Lands Act (Act) applies to Alaska. The Act entitles Alaska to submerged lands beneath tidal and inland navigable waters and submerged lands extending three miles seaward of the State's coastline. The United States claimed a right to submerged lands along the Alaska's Arctic Coast for mineral leasing. Alaska, in a counterclaim, sought to quiet its title to coastal submerged lands within two federal reservations, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, formerly known as the Arctic National Wildlife Range.

Question 

Does the United States own disputed submerged lands along Alaska's Arctic Coast?

Conclusion 
Decision: 6 votes for United States, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Submerged Lands Acts

Yes. In a decision authored by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the Court ruled that the federal government, the United States, owned the disputed submerged lands - adjacent to the National Wildlife Refuge and the National Petroleum Reserve - along Alaska's Arctic Coast.

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UNITED STATES v. ALASKA. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 04 April 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1996/1996_84_orig>.
UNITED STATES v. ALASKA, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1996/1996_84_orig (last visited April 4, 2014).
"UNITED STATES v. ALASKA," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed April 4, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1996/1996_84_orig.