WASHINGTON - Monday's unanimous Supreme Court decision rejected the claim that Memphis, Tennessee has taken water from Mississippi from an underground well that lies beneath both states.
The court's first term-end decision came in an October case. This deflated expectations that the justices would decide whether Texas' ban against most abortions could be challenged at federal court.
Nov. 1, saw the reopening of two Texas cases under an accelerated procedure that the court rarely uses and which was used in many of its most significant decisions, such as the Bush v. Gore decision that ended the 2000 presidential election.
These cases are still unresolved.
Chief Justice John Roberts instead wrote for the court in an Interstate Water Dispute that dates back to 2005.
The Supreme Court has always supported the idea of equitable apportionment, a legal doctrine that allows for fair participation in state fights over rivers or streams.
Mississippi claims that it owns all groundwater below its surface and therefore equitable apportionment should not be applied. Roberts stated that we see things differently.
Roberts stated that although the water source in this case is water from hundreds upon hundreds of feet beneath the surface, he did not believe there was any reason to expect a different outcome.