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In Winters v. United States (1908), the Supreme Court held that the ri

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Re: In Winters v. United States (1908), the Supreme Court held that the ri [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2017, 13:39
What was this?
This is different level 800+ Level question.
got 3/4 Right in 14 minutes :(

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Re: In Winters v. United States (1908), the Supreme Court held that the ri [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2017, 01:32
vksunder wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review 13th Edition, 2012

Practice Question
Question No.: RC 56 ~ 62
Page: 390

In Winters v. United States (1908), the Supreme Court held that the right to use waters flowing through or adjacent to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation was reserved to American Indians by the treaty establishing the reservation. Although this treaty did not mention water rights, the Court ruled that the federal government, when it created the reservation, intended to deal fairly with American Indians by preserving for them the waters without which their lands would have been useless. Later decisions, citing Winters, established that courts can find federal rights to reserve water for particular purposes if (1) the land in question lies within an enclave under exclusive federal jurisdiction, (2) the land has been formally withdrawn from federal public lands — i.e., withdrawn from the stock of federal lands available for private use under federal land use laws — and set aside or reserved, and (3) the circumstances reveal the government intended to reserve water as well as land when establishing the reservation.

Some American Indian tribes have also established water rights through the courts based on their traditional diversion and use of certain waters prior to the United States’ acquisition of sovereignty. For example, the Rio Grande pueblos already existed when the United States acquired sovereignty over New Mexico in 1848. Although they at that time became part of the United States, the pueblo lands never formally constituted a part of federal public lands; in any event, no treaty, statute, or executive order has ever designated or withdrawn the pueblos from public lands as American Indian reservations. This fact, however, has not barred application of the Winters doctrine. What constitutes an American Indian reservation is a question of practice, not of legal definition, and the pueblos have always been treated as reservations by the United States. This pragmatic approach is buttressed by Arizona v. California (1963), wherein the Supreme Court indicated that the manner in which any type of federal reservation is created does not affect the application to it of the Winters doctrine. Therefore, the reserved water rights of Pueblo Indians have priority over other citizens’ water rights as of 1848, the year in which pueblos must be considered to have become reservations.

[Reveal] Spoiler:

4. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) trace the development of laws establishing American Indian reservations
(B) explain the legal basis for the water rights of American Indian tribes
(C) question the legal criteria often used to determine the water rights of American Indian tribes
(D) discuss evidence establishing the earliest date at which the federal government recognized the water rights of American Indians
(E) point out a legal distinction between different types of American Indian reservations

Passage: Water Rights

Question: Main Idea

The Simple Story

The passage discusses laws that determine who holds the water rights on American Indian reservations. The Winters v. United States case determined that American Indians held the water rights on a particular reservation, even though water rights were not included in the treaty that originally established the reservation. This case established the guidelines for determining whether a group owns the water rights to federal land. However, other American Indian tribes have claimed water rights as well, even if their cases did not fit the guidelines exactly.

Sample Passage Map

Here is one way to map this passage. (Note: abbreviate as desired!)


W v US decision: AI keep water rights on reservation

3 rules for water rights established


some tribes have water rights for other reasons

ex. RG pueblos don’t technically fit W v US rules

Ariz vs Cali says W v US rules apply to RG pueblos anyways

Step 1: Identify the Question

The words primary purpose of the passage in the question stem indicate that this is a Primary Purpose question.

Step 2: Find the Support

The support for a Primary Purpose question is in the main point(s) of the entire passage, not in any particular section. To find the support for a question of this type, briefly review your passage map.

Step 3: Predict an Answer

The majority of the passage is devoted to describing the legal cases that made various findings regarding water rights on reservations. The first paragraph deals with the Winters criteria, which represent one way of handling the issue. In the second paragraph, exceptions to the Winters criteria are mentioned, and one particular exception—that of the Rio Grande pueblos—is described. The passage does not argue for a particular criterion, or take a stance on the legal issues itself. The right answer will state that the passage describes the legal issues surrounding the establishment of water rights on American Indian reservations.

Step 4: Eliminate and Find a Match

(A) The majority of the passage describes laws specifically related to water rights on established reservations, not laws related to the establishment of reservations.

(B) CORRECT. All of the legal cases described in the passage relate directly to the water rights of American Indian tribes. The passage also describes multiple ways in which American Indian tribes have established water rights, either in accordance with those legal cases or despite them.

(C) The passage does not judge the criteria used to determine water rights. Rather, it neutrally describes a set of criteria and the ways in which those criteria have been altered and applied.

(D) Although several dates are mentioned in the passage, the passage does not mention that any case discussed represents the earliest recognition of water rights for American Indian tribes. There could be legal cases or other laws or treaties that predate the cases discussed in the passage.

(E) The passage does mention that the Rio Grande pueblos were different from other types of Indian reservations, since the Rio Grande pueblos were established in a way that made applying the Winters criteria difficult. However, the difference is only mentioned because it helps to clarify the difference between the different tribes' water rights. The issue of water rights in general, not the difference itself, is the point of the passage.

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Kudos [?]: 1183 [0], given: 415

Re: In Winters v. United States (1908), the Supreme Court held that the ri   [#permalink] 28 Sep 2017, 01:32

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