This clause has been broadly construed to cover all structures necessary for carrying on the business of the National Government.1824 It includes post offices,1825 a hospital and a hotel located in a national park,1826 and locks and dams for the improvement of navigation.1827 But it does not cover lands acquired for forests, parks, ranges, wild life sanctuaries or flood control.1828 Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has held that a state may convey, and the Congress may accept, either exclusive or qualified jurisdiction over property acquired within the geographical limits of a state, for purposes other than those enumerated in clause 17.1829

After exclusive jurisdiction over lands within a state has been ceded to the United States, Congress alone has the power to punish crimes committed within the ceded territory.1830 Private property located thereon is not subject to taxation by the state,1831 nor can state statutes enacted subsequent to the transfer have any operation therein.1832 But the local laws in force at the date of cession that are protective of private rights continue in force until abrogated by Congress.1833 Moreover, as long as there is no interference with the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, an area subject to such jurisdiction may be annexed by a municipality.1834


James v. Dravo Contracting Co., 302 U.S. 134, 143 (1937). back
Battle v. United States, 209 U.S. 36 (1908). back
Arlington Hotel v. Fant, 278 U.S. 439 (1929). back
James v. Dravo Contracting Co., 302 U.S. 134, 143 (1937). back
Collins v. Yosemite Park Co., 304 U.S. 518, 530 (1938). back
304 U.S. at 528. back
Battle v. United States, 209 U.S. 36 (1908); Johnson v. Yellow Cab Co., 321 U.S. 383 (1944); Bowen v. Johnston, 306 U.S. 19 (1939). back
Surplus Trading Co. v. Cook, 281 U.S. 647 (1930). back
Western Union Tel. Co. v. Chiles, 214 U.S. 274 (1909); Arlington Hotel v. Fant, 278 U.S. 439 (1929); Pacific Coast Dairy v. Department of Agriculture, 318 U.S. 285 (1943). The Assimilative Crimes Act of 1948, 18 U.S.C. § 13, making applicable to a federal enclave a subsequently enacted criminal law of the state in which the enclave is situated entails no invalid delegation of legislative power to the state. United States v. Sharpnack, 355 U.S. 286, 294, 296–97 (1958). back
Chicago, R.I. & P. Ry. v. McGlinn, 114 U.S. 542, 545 (1885); Stewart & Co. v. Sadrakula, 309 U.S. 94 (1940). back
Howard v. Commissioners, 344 U.S. 624 (1953). As Howard recognized, such areas of federal property do not cease to be part of the state in which they are located and the residents of the areas are for most purposes residents of the state. Thus, a state may not constitutionally exclude such residents from the privileges of suffrage if they are otherwise qualified. Evans v. Cornman, 398 U.S. 419 (1970). back