United States v. Southern Pacific R. Co.
Annotate this Case
223 U.S. 565 (1912)
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U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Southern Pacific R. Co., 223 U.S. 565 (1912)
United States v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company
No. 128, 129
Argued January 26, 1912
Decided February 26, 1912
223 U.S. 565
An indemnity grant, like the residuary clause in a will, contemplates the uncertain and looks to the future, and what the party entitled may elect to select depends upon the state of the lands at the time of selection. Ryan v. Railroad Company, 99 U. S. 382.
Under the main line grant made to the Southern Pacific Railroad Company by the Act of July 27, 1866, c. 278, § 18, 14 Stat. 292, the company can select lieu lands within the primary limits of the grant made to the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad Company by § 3 of
the same act and forfeited under the Act of July 6, 1886, c. 637, 24 Stat. 123. Southern Pacific Railroad Co. v. United States, 168 U. S. 1, distinguished.
Where selections are made after a decision of this Court, the selections will not be declared illegal at the instance of the government if its claim is inconsistent with the position taken by it in the earlier case.
The facts, which involve rights of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company under its Main Line Grant to lands within the overlap of the primary limits of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company land grant, are stated in the opinion.