Georgia v. South Carolina

RESPONDENT: South Carolina
LOCATION: Pennyworth Island

DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)

CITATION: 497 US 376 (1990)
ARGUED: Jan 08, 1990
DECIDED: Jun 25, 1990

Patricia T. Barmeyer - on behalf of the Plaintiff
Thomas E. McCutchen, Jr. - on behalf of the Respondent

Facts of the case

The Charter of the Colony of Georgia described the Savannah River as its border with South Carolina. The Treaty of Beaufort (Treaty) further refined this boundary, which has since been disputed several times. This case was the third case since the Treaty that disputed this boundary. A Special Master was appointed to help resolve the dispute and filed two reports on the issue. This case was brought before the Supreme Court after Georgia and South Carolina filed disputes with the Special Master's reports .


What is the proper boundary between Georgia and South Carolina?

Media for Georgia v. South Carolina

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 08, 1990 in Georgia v. South Carolina

William H. Rehnquist:

We'll hear argument next in Number 74, Original, the State of Georgia v. the State of South Carolina.

Ms. Barmeyer, you may proceed.

Patricia T. Barmeyer:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

This original action was initiated by Georgia in 1977 in order to resolve disputes concerning the boundary between Georgia and South Carolina in the lower Savannah River, the mouth of the river and the lateral seaward boundary.

Both Georgia and South Carolina have filed exceptions to the reports of the Special Master.

In order to outline the exceptions, I'd like to ask the Court to turn to Appendix B to Georgia's brief and exceptions.

Appendix B is a map of the relevant area.

William H. Rehnquist:

What color is it?

Patricia T. Barmeyer:

They are all beige.

William H. Rehnquist:

They are all beige.

Okay, Appendix B where?

Patricia T. Barmeyer:

Appendix B to Georgia's exceptions and brief [inaudible].

That's the 1855 shoreline on chart?

Patricia T. Barmeyer:

That is correct, Your Honor.

This is a modern-day map which is shown in gray, and superimposed on the modern-day, 1983 map, is--

Appendix which?

Patricia T. Barmeyer:

--Appendix B.

Is this exception to the brief of South Carolina?

Patricia T. Barmeyer:

Exceptions and brief of the State of Georgia.

William H. Rehnquist:

And it's in the back?

And it's B as in boy?

Patricia T. Barmeyer:

B as in boy, and it folds out.

Or in baker or one of those things?

Patricia T. Barmeyer:


Is this it?

Patricia T. Barmeyer:

Yes, sir.

Yes, Your Honor, that is it.

All right.

This map is a modern-day map which is shown in the lighter color gray.

Superimposed on the gray, in black, is an outline of the 1955 shoreline.