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When States Attack!

carolinas.jpgNorth Carolina … South Carolina … fight!

That’s right, boys and girls, the Carolinas are having at it. The two states have gotten themselves embroiled in a bit of a legal tussle, leading to a case hading that you don’t get to see too often:

State of South Carolina
State of North Carolina

The Battle of the Carolinas stems from the Catawba River. The 220 mile long river sits in North Carolina, but dumps into the Wateree river, which flows down into Southy. Both states are dealing with a moderate drought right now, and South Carolina is worried that folks in North Carolina are draining too much water out of the Catawba (with the approval of North Carolina) beyond the state’s equitable share of water. And the diversion of water out of the Catawba, Southy claims, has already harmed the state by reducing water inflow. Thus, South Carolina is seeking an injunction to get those pesky northerners to keep their dirty northerner hands off that delicious water.

And fun fact about this case – it was filed with the Supreme Court. Why for? Well, this is one of the rare situations where the Supreme Court is actually a court of original jurisdiction (meaning it can hear a case without that case having been heard by a lower court first). Section 2 of Article III of the Constitution lays out the specific instances when the Supremes have such original jurisdiction: “In al cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be a party.” So it’s a pretty small group, which is why this case is rare (and made even rarer by the fact that it’s two states going head to head).

Since my sister and brother-in-law live in North Carolina, and I don’t know nobody who lives in South Carolina, I’m pulling for North Carolina in this battle. Go Northy!