WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court attempted Monday to secret its second deliberation in a longstanding dispute between Georgia and Florida over water that flows from the suburbs of Atlanta to the Gulf of Mexico

Citing Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, the judges puzzled over Florida’s allegations that the blame for the decimation of the state’s oyster industry lies with Georgia farmers who consume too much water from the Flint River

By the time the Flint joins the Chattahoochee River to form the Apalachicola River on the Florida Line, there is too little left for Florida’s once lucrative oyster fishery

Georgia says the fault lies in oyster over-harvest, historical droughts, and mismanagement, among other things

Chief Justice John Roberts said many factors may have played a role in comparing the situation to Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”

“A lot of things have hit the fishery, but it cannot be said that any of these things are responsible for killing the fishery,” said Roberts

Justice Clarence Thomas gave the controversy between the two states and their differing claims about how much water in question a title in the style of Doyle’s stories about Holmes, “The Fall of Water Vanishing”

Florida Moves for a Court Order Compelling Georgia to Restrict Use of Flint Water When judges first heard the dispute three years ago, Florida also alleged that the Atlanta area’s water use from the Chattahoochee River also did so played a big role in the decreased currents in Florida, but that claim has dropped out of the case, Florida’s attorney Gregory Garre said Monday in arguments brought up over the phone over the coronavirus pandemic

“I think I’d end up saying it’s hard to imagine New England without lobsters or, for example, the Chesapeake without crabs, but actually this is a future that Apalachicola faces now when it comes to oysters and other species goes “Said Garre

Last year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission unanimously voted to stop oyster harvesting in Apalachicola Bay by the end of 2025 due to a dwindling oyster population

Craig Primis, who represented Georgia, urged the judges to end the case in his state’s favor because Florida had not conclusively proven that its northern neighbor was responsible for the Apalachicola troubles

Florida’s lawsuit against Georgia has been filed directly with the Supreme Court, which is primarily an appeals court but hears disputes between states. The court appointed a special master to evaluate the case and initially recommended that Georgia prevail

Three years ago, the judges voted 5-4 to give Florida another chance to prove its case

The court appointed a new special mayor who also recommended the court side with Georgia. Florida’s objections to this recommendation are controversial in the Supreme Court

The outcome could be due to the views of two newest Justices, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, who were not yet on trial at the 2018 dispute hearing

The judges who replaced her, Anthony Kennedy and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, both voted with Florida

Kavanaugh asked similar questions on both sides that made it difficult to judge how to vote

Barrett wondered if Georgia could take some steps, without incurring too much expense, to revive Apalachicola oysters “How can we evaluate such an environmental benefit?” She asked

Georgia

World News – FI – Second Supreme Court Hearing for Florida-Georgia Water War

Source: https://www.startribune.com/second-high-court-hearing-for-florida-georgia-water-war/600026098/