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PAYNE V. NEW MEXICO, 255 U. S. 367 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Payne v. New Mexico, 255 U.S. 367 (1921)

Payne v. New Mexico

No. 128

Argued October 6, 1920

Decided March 7, 1921

255 U.S. 367


1. Under the acts of Congress entitling the State of New Mexico to waive its rights to any place section which has passed to it as school land and subsequently has been included within a public reservation chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 255 U. S. 368

of the United States, and to select other public land of equal acreage in lieu, the state, having made such waiver and selection in due form, complying with all conditions precedent, acquires a vested right to the selected land which cannot lawfully be cancelled or disregarded by the Land Department upon the ground that the base land has since been eliminated from the reservation. P. 255 U. S. 370.

2. The provision making such a selection "subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior" does not postpone the vesting of the right of the state until the Secretary approves, but empowers and requires him to determine judicially the lawfulness of the selection as of the time when it was made. P. 255 U. S. 371.

3. Where the Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of the General Land Office refused approval of such a lieu selection because, after it was made, the base tract was eliminated from the reservation, held that the proper injunctive relief, in the courts of the District of Columbia, was to direct that the selection be disposed of in due course without regard to such elimination, rather than to forbid its cancellation or annulment. P. 255 U. S. 373.

49 App.D.C. 80, 258 F. 80, affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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