Idaho v. United States, 533 U.S. 262, 20 (2001)

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Cite as: 533 U. S. 262 (2001)

Rehnquist, C. J., dissenting

tion that Congress ever modified its objective of negotiated consensual transfer, which would have been defeated if Congress had let parts of the reservation pass to the State before the agreements with the Tribe were final. Any imputation to Congress either of bad faith or of secrecy in dropping its express objective of consensual dealing with the Tribe is at odds with the evidence. We therefore think the negotiating history, not to mention subsequent events, "ma[k]e [it] very plain," Holt State Bank, 270 U. S., at 55, that Congress recognized the full extent of the Executive Order reservation lying within the stated boundaries it ultimately confirmed, and intended to bar passage to Idaho of title to the submerged lands at issue here.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed.

It is so ordered.

Chief Justice Rehnquist, with whom Justice Scalia, Justice Kennedy, and Justice Thomas join, dissenting.

The Court makes out a plausible case for the proposition that, on the day Idaho was admitted to the Union, the Executive Branch of the Federal Government had intended to retain in trust for the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe the submerged lands under a portion of Lake Coeur d'Alene. But the existence of such intent on the part of the Executive Branch is simply not enough to defeat an incoming State's title to submerged lands within its borders. Decisions of this Court going back more than 150 years establish this proposition beyond a shadow of a doubt.

"[T]he ownership of land under navigable waters," it bears repeating, "is an incident of sovereignty." Montana v. United States, 450 U. S. 544, 551 (1981). Recognizing this important relationship, this Court "announced the principle that the United States held the lands under navigable waters in the Territories 'in trust' for the future States that would


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