Williams v. Johnson,
239 U.S. 414 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Williams v. Johnson, 239 U.S. 414 (1915)

Williams v. Johnson

No. 110

Submitted December 6, 1915

Decided December 20, 1915

239 U.S. 414


Indians are wards of the Nation; Congress has plenary control over tribal relations and property, and this power continues after the Indians are made citizens, and may be exercised as to restrictions on alienation of allotments. Tier v. Western Investment Co., 221 U. S. 286; Choate v. Trapp, 224 U. S. 665, distinguished.

The provision in the Act of April 21, 1904, c. 33, Stat. 204, removing certain restrictions on alienation of allotments to Choctaw Indians imposed by the Act of July 1, 1902, was within the power of Congress and was not, under the Fifth Amendment, an unconstitutional deprivation of property of Indians to whom allotments had been made; nor did it impair the obligation of the contract theretofore made between the United States and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations in regard to allotments.

Quaere whether the grantee of an Indian can avail of the right, if any, of the Indian to assert the unconstitutionality of an act of Congress affecting

Page 239 U. S. 415

the right of the Indian, or whether such grantee can be heard to urge right of the tribe to which his grantor belonged.

32 Okl. 247 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the title to allotted lands conveyed by a Choctaw Indian and the construction, application and constitutionality of Acts of Congress relating to the allotment of lands to Choctaw Indians and restriction of alienation thereon, are stated in the opinion.

Page 239 U. S. 416

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