Quimbee logo with url
From our private database of 14,500+ case briefs...

United States v. Powers

United States Supreme Court
305 U.S. 527 (1939)


In 1868, the United States executed a treaty creating the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. The treaty explicitly provided that if any individual Indian wanted to become a farmer, he could select reservation land for farming and that the land would no longer be held in common by the reservation, but would be held individually by that Indian. Likewise, the General Allotment Act of 1877, 24 Stat. 388, also provided that Indians were entitled to allotments of reservation land for agricultural and grazing purposes. That land was initially to be held in trust by the United States, but after 25 years became conveyable as fee-simple property. As a result, by the 1900s, many plots were sold to non-Indians. In 1934, the United States (plaintiff) sued on behalf of the Crow Indian Reservation to prevent further taking of water from sources within the reservation by individuals (defendants) who had succeeded to individual allotments of Crow Indian Reservation land.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (McReynolds, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 265,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,500 briefs, keyed to 196 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.