Totten v. United States

Case Date: 06/23/1875

Totten v. United States, 92 U.S. 105 (1876), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the court ruled on judicial jurisdiction in espionage cases. The court deemed an oral contract between a deceased spy and President Lincoln was unenforceable because courts cannot hear cases in disputes involving spying contracts, because it might do harm to make public the details of the enterprise and embarrass the government. This case was later referenced by the court in a similar context in the 2005 case of Tenet v. Doe.