Mississippi Loses Supreme Court Water Battle With Tennessee

Mississippi Loses Supreme Court Water Battle With Tennessee

Washington — A Supreme Court on Monday unanimously rejected the claim that the Memphis, Tennessee, area is consuming Mississippi-owned water from an aquifer under parts of the two states.

The Supreme Court’s first decision on the term came in a case debated in October, dampening expectations that judges will resolve the question of whether Texas’ ban on most abortions can be challenged in a federal court.

Two Texas cases were debated on November 1 under an accelerated process previously rarely used by the court and in some of its notable decisions, including Bush v. Gore that decided the 2000 presidential election.

But these cases are still not settled.

Instead, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote to the court in an interstate water dispute dating back to 2005.


The Supreme Court has long espoused the concept of equitable participation in state battles over rivers and streams, a legal principle known as equitable distribution.

Despite this, Mississippi maintains that it has sovereign ownership of all of the groundwater below its surface, so fair distribution should not apply. Roberts wrote: “We see things differently.

Although the water source in question in this case is water from hundreds of feet below the surface, Roberts wrote, “we don’t see a basis for a different result.”

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