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Rassmussen v. United States, 197 U.S. 516 (1905)

Rassmussen v. United States

No. 51

Argued November 4, 1904

Decided April 10, 1905

197 U.S. 516


The treaty with Russia concerning Alaska, instead of exhibiting, as did the treaty with Spain respecting the Philippine Islands, the determination to reserve the question of the status of the acquired territory for ulterior action by Congress, manifested a contrary intention to admit the inhabitants of the ceded territory to the enjoyment of citizenship, and expressed the purpose to incorporate the territory into the United States.

Under the treaty with Russia ceding Alaska and the subsequent legislation of Congress, Alaska has been incorporated into the United States, and the Constitution is applicable to that territory, and under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, Congress cannot deprive one there accused of a misdemeanor of trial by a common law jury, and that § 171 of the Alaska Code, 31 Stat. 358, insofar as it provides that in trials for misdemeanors six persons shall constitute a legal jury, is unconstitutional and void.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 197 U. S. 518

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