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Andrus v. Charlestone Stone Products Co.

United States Supreme Court
436 U.S. 604 (1978)


Facts

The Charlestone Stone Products Company (Charlestone) (defendant) purchased 23 mining claims near Las Vegas, Nevada. Charlestone drilled a well on one of the claims (Claim 22) and discovered water. Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus (plaintiff) filed a complaint with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), challenging the validity of Charlestone’s mining claims. The BLM held that only one of the claims was valid. Both parties appealed, and the Interior Board of Land Appeals affirmed. Charlestone sought review in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The court of appeals held that Claim 22 was valid because water was a “valuable mineral” under the General Mining Law of 1872. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, J.)

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