Nebraska v. Wyoming

RESPONDENT: Wyoming et al.
LOCATION: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1986-2005)

CITATION: 515 US 1 (1995)
ARGUED: Mar 21, 1995
DECIDED: May 30, 1995

Dennis C. Cook - on behalf of the Defendant Wyoming
Jeffrey P. Minear - on behalf of the United States
Richard A. Simms - on behalf of the Plaintiff Nebraska
Timothy M. Tymkovich - on behalf of the Defendant Colorado

Facts of the case


Media for Nebraska v. Wyoming

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 21, 1995 in Nebraska v. Wyoming

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 30, 1995 in Nebraska v. Wyoming

William H. Rehnquist:

I have the opinions of the court to announce in two cases in the first of them number 108 original, the State of Nebraska versus State of Wyoming comes to us on exception to an Interim Report of the Special Master.

The North Platte River rises in Northern Colorado and flows through Wyoming into Nebraska where it joins the South Platte to form the Platte River.

In 1934 Nebraska invoked our original jurisdiction by suing Wyoming to obtain an equitable apportionment of the waters of the North Platte River and the ensuing litigation culminated 11 years later in a decree of this court which did apportionment of flow the North Platte.

Then in 1986, Nebraska returned to this court, saying that Wyoming was threatening its equitable apportionment primarily by planning water projects on tributaries that have historically contributed significant flows to the North Platte.

We granted Nebraska leave to follow its petition allows Wyoming to file a counterclaim.

Nebraska and Wyoming later sought leave to amend their pleadings and we received all these matters to refer them to a Special Master.

The master is now reported and while we overrule all of the exceptions.

Wyoming has filed four exceptions to the master's recommendations, we overrule each of them.

Nebraska and United States have each filed a single and largely overlapping exception which we also overrule.

Justice Thomas has filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.