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Coyle v. Smith

Significance, Further Readings


W.H. Coyle


Thomas P. Smith, Secretary of State of Oklahoma, et al.

Appellant's Claim

The state of Oklahoma was denied equal status among the states by being required to locate its capital in the town of Guthrie under the Congressional Enabling Act admitting the territory to the Union.

Chief Lawyers for Appellant

Frank Dale, G. G. Hepner, John Burford

Chief Lawyers for Appellee

Charles West, B. C. Barwell, Joseph W. Bailey

Justices for the Court

William Rufus Day, John Marshall Harlan I, Charles Evans Hughes, Joseph Rucker Lamar, Horace Harmon Lurton (writing for the Court), Willis Van Devanter, Edward Douglass White

Justices Dissenting

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Joseph McKenna


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

29 May 1911


Let stand a 1910 popular initiative establishing the capital of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City rather than Guthrie, thereby revoking the 1906 "irrevocable" agreement admitting the state to the Union.

Related Cases

  • South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U.S. 301 (1966).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1883 to 1917