Kansas v. United States,
204 U.S. 331 (1907)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Kansas v. United States, 204 U.S. 331 (1907)

Kansas v. United States

No. 11, Original

Submitted November 12, 1906

Decided February 25, 1907

204 U.S. 331

Where the name of a state is used simply for the prosecution of a private claim, the original jurisdiction of this Court cannot be maintained.

Although a state may be sued by the United States without its consent, public policy forbids that the United States may, without its consent, be sued by a state.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 204 U. S. 337

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER delivered the opinion of the Court.

On April 30, 1906, the State of Kansas applied for leave to file a bill of complaint against the United States and others, to which the United States objected on the ground of want of jurisdiction. May 21 leave was granted, without prejudice, and the bill was accordingly filed. As such an application by a state is usually granted as of course, we thought it wiser to allow the bill to be filed, but reserving to the United States the right to object to the jurisdiction thereafter, and hence the words "without prejudice" were inserted in the order. October 9, leave was granted to the United States to file a demurrer, and, in lieu of this, a motion to dismiss was substituted, which was submitted November 12 on printed briefs on both sides.

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