1 Pratt PDF FINAL.pdf


Preview of PDF document 1-pratt-pdf-final.pdf

Page 1 23424

Text preview


2

Seattle Journal of Environmental Law

[Vol. 5:1

II. The Dispute .......................................................................................... 3
A. History of Conflict ............................................................................ 4
B. The Most Recent Dispute ................................................................. 6
III. The Parties’ Arguments....................................................................... 7
A. New Jersey’s Arguments .................................................................. 7
B. Delaware’s Arguments .................................................................... 10
C. The Resolution ................................................................................ 12
IV. Driving the Decision: Three Underlying Factors ............................. 17
A. Full Circle: Regulation of Nuisance ............................................... 17
B. Consistency with Modern Water Law ............................................ 19
C. An Environmental Case? ................................................................ 21
V. Conclusion ......................................................................................... 22

I. INTRODUCTION
In response to a threat from New Jersey to remove state investments
in Delaware banks, Delaware’s legislature considered authorizing the
National Guard to protect Delaware and resist New Jersey’s
encroachment.1 One New Jersey state legislator openly contemplated
commissioning a battleship docked in a museum “in the event the State
was forced to repel an armed invasion from Delaware.”2 These events are
not a historical recounting of the early days of the United States; they
occurred in 2005.3
New Jersey and Delaware have been fighting for jurisdiction over the
Delaware River for more than a century.4 Three times, these fights have
resulted in litigation in the Supreme Court under its original jurisdiction.5
The first case arose in 19076 and was dismissed as a result of an agreement
between the states, which was ratified by Congress.7 The second case
1. Report of the Special Master at 21, New Jersey v. Delaware III, 552 U.S. 597 (2008) (No. 134,
Original) [hereinafter Special Master Report].
2. Id.
3. Id.
4. Id. at 2.
5. Id. at 2, 14, 17.
6. New Jersey v. Delaware I, 205 U.S. 550 (1907).
7. S. 4975, 59th Cong., 34 Stat. 858 (1907). See Special Master Report, supra note 1, at 13.