Pearcy v. Stranahan - 205 U.S. 257 (1907)
U.S. Supreme Court
Pearcy v. Stranahan, 205 U.S. 257 (1907)
Pearcy v. Stranahan
Submitted March 4, 1907
Decided April 8, 1907
205 U.S. 257
The averment that territory named in the complaint is a part of the United States is a conclusion of law and not admitted by a demurrer.
The court takes judicial cognizance whether or not a given territory is within the boundaries of the United States, and is bound to take the fact as it really exists, however it may be averred to be.
Who is the sovereign de jure or de facto of territory is not a judicial, but a political, question, the determination of which by the legislative and executive departments of any government conclusively binds the judges as well as all other officers, citizens, and subjects of that government. Jones v. United States, 137 U. S. 202.
The Isle of Pines, under the provisions of the Platt Amendment and the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, is de facto under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Cuba, and. as the United states has never yet taken possession thereof, it has remained and is foreign country within the meaning of the Dingley Tariff Act of 1897. Delima v. Bidwell, 182 U. S. 1; United States v. Rice, 4 Wheat. 246.
The facts, which involve the political status of the Isle of Pines and whether it is under the jurisdiction of Cuba or that of the United States, and whether merchandise therefrom is subject to duty, as coming from a foreign country within the meaning of the Dingley Tariff Act, are stated in the opinion.