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U.S. justices nix water fight between Mississippi and Tennessee

By Kathy Woods | Jan 27, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court building

JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline)-The U.S. Supreme Court this week put an end to the water-rights battle between Mississippi and Tennessee.

The nation's highest court on Tuesday refused to hear the case, which emerged in 2005, after Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood filed a lawsuit against Memphis and its municipal utility, the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.

In his lawsuit, the Democratic attorney general claimed the city and its utility were taking too much water from an aquifer that lies beneath the neighboring states.

Among other things, Hood alleged that the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division's wells caused water that had been beneath his state to flow into Memphis.

Hood originally filed his lawsuit in Oxford, Miss., but U.S. District Court Judge Glen Davidson ruled in 2008 that the Mississippi court lacked jurisdiction since it was a multistate dispute.

Davidson's ruling was upheld by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last June.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the case with no comment and rejected Mississippi's motion to file a new lawsuit before the high court.

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