Clause 1. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction...
Clause 1. Admission of New States to Union
Clause 1. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned was well as of the Congress.
Doctrine of the Equality of States
"Equality of constitutional right and power is the condition of all the States of the Union, old and new."
Prior to this time, however, Georgia and Virginia had ceded to the United States large territories held by them, upon condition that new States should be formed therefrom and admitted to the Union on an equal footing with the original States.
However, if the doctrine rested merely on construction of the declarations in the admission acts, then the conditions and limitations imposed by Congress and agreed to by the States in order to be admitted would nonetheless govern, since they must be construed along with the declarations. Again and again, however, in adjudicating the rights and duties of States admitted after 1789, the Supreme Court has referred to the condition of equality as if it were an inherent attribute of the Federal Union.
[T]o Alabama belong the navigable waters and soils under them, in controversy in this case, subject to the rights surrendered by the Constitution to the United States; and no compact that might be made between her and the United States could diminish or enlarge these rights."
Finally, in 1911, the Court invalidated a restriction on the change of location of the State capital, which Congress had imposed as a condition for the admission of Oklahoma, on the ground that Congress may not embrace in an enabling act conditions relating wholly to matters under state control.
The equal footing doctrine is a limitation only upon the terms by which Congress admits a State.
Until recently the requirement of equality has applied primarily to political standing and sovereignty rather than to economic or property rights.
Judicial Proceedings Pending on Admission of New States
Whenever a territory is admitted into the Union, the cases pending in the territorial court which are of exclusive federal cognizance are transferred to the federal court having jurisdiction over the area; cases not cognizable in the federal courts are transferred to the tribunals of the new State, and those over which federal and state courts have concurrent jurisdiction may be transferred either to the state or federal courts by the party possessing the option under existing law.
Property Rights of States to Soil Under Navigable Waters
The "equal footing" doctrine has had an important effect on the property rights of new States to soil under navigable waters. In Pollard's Lessee v. Hagan,
After refusing to extend the inland-water rule of Pollard's Lessee to the three mile marginal belt under the ocean along the coast,
While the territorial status continues, the United States has power to convey property rights, such as rights in soil below the high-water mark along navigable waters,
Clause 2. Property of the United States
Clause 2. The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
Property and Territory: Powers of Congress
Methods of Disposing of Property
The Constitution is silent as to the methods of disposing of property of the United States. In United States v. Gratiot,
Public Lands: Federal and State Powers Over
No appropriation of public lands may be made for any purpose except by authority of Congress.
Unanimously upholding a federal law to protect wild-roaming horses and burros on federal lands, the Court restated the applicable principles governing Congress' power under this clause. It empowers Congress to act as both proprietor and legislature over the public domain; Congress has complete power to make those "needful rules" which in its discretion it determines are necessary. When Congress acts with respect to those lands covered by the clause, its legislation overrides conflicting state laws.
No State can tax public lands of the United States within its borders,
Territories: Powers of Congress Over
In the territories, Congress has the entire dominion and sovereignty, national and local, and has full legislative power over all subjects upon which a state legislature might act.
Admission of a State on an equal footing with the original States involves the adoption as citizens of the United States of those whom Congress makes members of the political community and who are recognized as such in the formation of the new State.
The new State, without the express or implied assent of Congress, cannot enact that the records of the former territorial court of appeals should become records of its own courts or provide by law for proceedings based thereon.