Louisiana v. Mississippi Page 21

Louisiana v. Mississippi general information

Media for Louisiana v. Mississippi

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 03, 1995 in Louisiana v. Mississippi

Gary L. Keyser:

First, I'd like to address the question of where the book definitions come from.

On page 6 of our brief, we tell you where three of them come from, from U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Department of the Interior, and the Corps of Engineers.

On page 19 we cite the Government Land Office book Manual of Instruction for the Survey of Public Lands, where the Government surveyors were given the same definition used by the Coast and Geodetic Survey and the other Government agencies which follow the Hague Convention of 1938 and the Geneva Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone.

Sandra Day O'Connor:

And what is that definition?

Gary L. Keyser:

A body of land entirely surrounded by water at ordinary high water.

That's used in international practice, domestic practice on the rivers, U.S. v. California, U.S. v. Louisiana, all--

Stephen G. Breyer:

Yes, all right, but then the issue, it's ordinary high water is the correct term--

Gary L. Keyser:

--That is the--

Stephen G. Breyer:

--not something like a special median extra-high water, and not top bank, so we should disregard those terms in your view, is that right?

Gary L. Keyser:

--Except that top bank is the same as ordinary high water.

Stephen G. Breyer:

It doesn't mean, really, the height of the bank.

Gary L. Keyser:

No.

No, it doesn't.

I can explain that, but it doesn't.

John Paul Stevens:

Thank you.

The case will be submitted.