Alaska v. United States

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In Alaska v. United States, 545 U.S. 75 (2005), a nearly unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held against a claim asserted by the State of Alaska to certain submerged lands underlying waters in Southeast Alaska, including lands in between and fringing the southeastern Alaska islands known as the Alexander Archipelago.

This case was handled as part of the original jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court: Alaska initiated the action by filing a complaint with leave of the Court. As is customary in such actions, the Court appointed a Special Master to make a recommendation, in this case Professor Gregory E. Maggs. He accepted written and oral submissions of the parties and recommended a grant of summary judgment to the United States with respect to all the submerged lands in dispute. Alaska took exceptions to the report but held entirely in favor of the United States.

Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the opinion of the court. Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Justices William Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas, filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

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