Congress grants a railroad a right-of-way across public land.
The federal government then grants the land to a private landowner, who takes the parcel subject to the railroad right-of-way.
The railroad later abandons the right-of-way.
Does the right-of-way interest revert to the federal government? Or does the parcel owner gain full and unburdened rights to the property?
This morning, in Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, No. 12-1173, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that the federal government does not retain an interest in the abandoned right-of-way. As Chief Justice Roberts explained, Continue reading