U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Healey, 160 U.S. 136 (1895)
United States v. Healey
Argued October 22-23, 1895
Decided December 2, 1895
160 U.S. 136
The Act of March 3, 1877, c. 107, 19 Stat. 377, providing for the sale of desert lands in certain states and territories, does not embrace alternate sections, reserved to the United States, along the lines of railroads for the construction of which Congress has made grants of lands.
Cases initiated under that act but not completed by final proof until after the passage of the Act of March 3, 1891, c. 561, 26 Stat. 1095, were left by the latter act, as to the price to be paid for the lands entered, to be governed by the law in force at the time the entry was made.
When the practice in a department in interpreting a statute is uniform, and the meaning of the statute, upon examination, is found to be doubtful or obscure, this Court will accept the interpretation by the department as the true one; but where the departmental practice has not been uniform, the court must determine for itself what is the true interpretation.
The case is stated in the opinion.