Cissna v. Tennessee,
246 U.S. 289 (1918)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Cissna v. Tennessee, 246 U.S. 289 (1918)

Cissna v. Tennessee

No. 20

Argued November 10, 1916

Restored to docket for reargument December 11, 1916

Reargued October 9, 10, 1917

Decided March 11, 1918

246 U.S. 289


If the state supreme court treats federal questions as necessarily involved, and, to reach its judgment, necessarily decides them adversely to the plaintiff in error, this Court has jurisdiction to review them, although not specially characterized as federal questions by the plaintiff in error in the state courts.

This Court has jurisdiction to review a judgment of the supreme court of a state where the issues as to whether lands in question were owned by the state, and whether they, and alleged trespasses upon them, were within the state, and so within the state court's jurisdiction, were determined affirmatively through a location of the state boundary based upon interpretation of various treaties and acts of Congress.

Whether two states of the Union, either by long acquiescence in a

Page 246 U. S. 290

practical location of their common boundary or by agreement otherwise evidenced, have changed the limits of their jurisdiction as laid down by the authority of the general government in treaty or statute is, in its nature, a federal question.

Whether the state court has correctly followed the rules of erosion, accretion, or avulsion applicable to interstate boundary streams so as to give proper effect to treaties and acts of Congress establishing a river as an interstate boundary is a question of federal law.

Upon the merits, which concern the location of the boundary between Tennessee and Arkansas in the Mississippi River, this case is decided upon the authority of Arkansas v. Tennessee, ante, 246 U. S. 158.

119 Tenn. 47 reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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