Asarco Incorporated v. Kadish

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Asarco Incorporated v. Kadish by Anthony Kennedy
Court Documents
Concurring Opinion

United States Supreme Court

490 U.S. 605

Asarco Incorporated  v.  Kadish

No. 87-1661  Argued: Feb. 27, 1989. --- Decided: May 30, 1989


Among other things, the New Mexico-Arizona Enabling Act of 1910 granted Arizona certain lands, excluding mineral lands, in trust for the support of public schools, and, in § 28, provided that granted lands cannot be sold or leased except upon compliance with certain conditions regarding advertising, bidding, and appraisal. Arizona incorporated these conditions into Article 10 of its Constitution. After this Court held the original mineral land exclusion inapplicable to lands not known to be mineral at the time of the grant, Wyoming v. United States, 255 U.S. 489, 41 S.Ct. 393, 65 L.Ed. 742 (1921), Congress passed the Jones Act in 1927, extending the terms of the original grant to encompass all mineral lands. The Enabling Act was also amended in 1936 and 1951 to clarify the procedures for leasing granted lands for specific purposes. The latter amendment expressly extinguished the § 28 restrictions on leases of granted lands for the development of hydrocarbon substances. Arizona's own law governing mineral leases on state lands does not require that the lands be advertised, appraised, or leased for their full appraised value. Ariz.Rev.Stat.Ann. § 27-234(B). Respondents, individual taxpayers and a state teachers association, brought a state-court suit against the State Land Department and others, seeking a declaration that § 27-234(B) is void on the ground that it does not comply with the provisions of § 28 or § 10 of the Arizona Constitution and requesting appropriate injunctive relief. Petitioners, mineral lessees of state school lands, intervened as defendants. The trial court upheld the statute. The State Supreme Court reversed, ruling that § 27-234(B) is "unconstitutional and invalid as it pertains to nonhydrocarbon mineral leases," and remanded the case for the trial court, inter alia, to enter a judgment declaring § 27-234(B) invalid and to consider what further relief might be appropriate.

Held: The judgment is affirmed.

155 Ariz. 484, 747 P.2d 1183, affirmed.

Justice KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II-A, II-B-2, II-C, III, and IV, concluding that:


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).