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Alvarez y Sanchez v. United States, 216 U.S. 167 (1910)

Alvarez y Sanchez v. United States

No. 69

Submitted January 11, 1910

Decided February 21, 1910

216 U.S. 167


The rights of private individuals recognized and protected by the Treaty of 1898 with Spain did not include the salability of official positions, such as procurador, nor did the United States intend to so restrict its own sovereign authority that it could not abolish the system of perpetual and salable offices which is entirely foreign to the conceptions of this people.

Even if Congress did not intend to modify the Treaty of 1898 by the Foraker Act of April 12, 1900, 31 Stat. 77, if that act is inconsistent with the treaty, it must prevail, and be enforced despite any provision in the treaty. Hijo v. United States, 194 U. S. 315.

Congress recognized the action of the military authorities in Porto Rico in 1898 in abolishing the office of procurador and validated it by the provision in the Foraker Act of 1900 continuing the laws and ordinances then in force except as altered and modified by the military orders in force.

The abolition of a perpetual and salable office, established under the Spanish law in Porto Rico prior to its cession to the United States, does not violate any provision of the Constitution or infringe any right of property which the holder of the office can assert against the United States. O'Reilly v. Brooke, 209 U. S. 45.

42 Ct.Cl. 458 affirmed.

Page 216 U. S. 171

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