United States v. Holliday
70 U.S. 407

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Holliday, 70 U.S. 3 Wall. 407 407 (1865)

United States v. Holliday

70 U.S. (3 Wall.) 407


1. The 12th section of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which gives to the circuit courts concurrent jurisdiction of all crimes and offenses cognizable in the district courts, is prospective, and embraces all offenses the jurisdiction of which is vested in the district courts by subsequent statutes.

2. Therefore the circuit courts have jurisdiction of the offense of selling ardent spirits to an Indian, under the Act of February 12, 1862, although by that act the jurisdiction is vested only in the district court.

3. By that act Congress intended to make it penal to sell spirituous liquor to an Indian under charge of an Indian agent, although it was sold outside of any Indian reservation and within the limits of a state.

4. The act aforesaid is constitutional, and is based upon the power of Congress to regulate commerce with the Indian tribes.

5. This power extends to the regulation of commerce with the Indian tribes and with the individual members of such tribes, though the traffic and the Indian with whom it is carried on are wholly within the territorial limits of a state.

6. Whether any particular class of Indians are still to be regarded as a tribe or have ceased to hold the tribal relation is primarily a question for the political departments of the government, and if they have decided it, this Court will follow their lead.

7. No state can by either its constitution or other legislation withdraw the Indians within its limits from the operation o

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