United States v. Hemmer,
241 U.S. 379 (1916)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Hemmer, 241 U.S. 379 (1916)

United States v. Hemmer

No. 86

Submitted May 5, 1916

Decided June 5, 1916

241 U.S. 379


Where there are no repealing words in a later act, a former act relating to the same or a similar subject is repealed only by implication, and repeal by implication is not favored.

Section 15 of the Act of March 3, 1875, c. 131, 18 Stat. 402, permitting Indians under specified conditions to make homestead entries of the public lands, was not repealed or superseded by the Act of July 4, 1884, c. 180, 23 Stat. 96, permitting Indians then located on the public lands to make such entries.

An Indian who made his homestead entry prior to passage of the Act of 1884, but who did not make his final proof until thereafter, held to have made such entry under the Act of 1875, and not under the Act of 1884, and the period of inalienability was limited to five years under the Act of 1875, and not to twenty-five years under the Act of 1884.

While Congress has power to, and may if so advised, exercise control over lands to which claims have attached under existing statutes,

Page 241 U. S. 380

the rule has been established that such lands are not regarded as public lands under acts of Congress passed thereafter.

Nothing in the legislative history of the Act of July 4, 1884, indicates that it was passed as an amendment to the Act of March 3, 1875, or that Congress deemed the earlier act did not sufficiently protect the Indians in their retention of homesteads entered thereunder.

204 F. 898 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction of statutes relating to the right of Indians to make homestead entries on the public lands, are stated in the opinion.

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