Ohio v. Kentucky

LOCATION: University of California Medical School at Davis

DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)

CITATION: 444 US 335 (1980)
ARGUED: Dec 03, 1979
DECIDED: Jan 21, 1980

James M. Ringo - on behalf of the Defendant
Michael R. Szolosi - on behalf of the Plaintiff

Facts of the case


Media for Ohio v. Kentucky

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 03, 1979 in Ohio v. Kentucky

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - January 21, 1980 in Ohio v. Kentucky

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in No. 27 Original, Ohio against Kentucky will be announced by Mr. Justice Blackmun.

Harry A. Blackmun:

Well this case is a boundary dispute between the State of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

It began in 1966 when Ohio filed a complaint under this Court's original jurisdiction to establish the boundary between the two states at the northerly edge of the Ohio River as it has existed in 1792 when Kentucky was admitted to the union.

Kentucky by its answer took the position that the boundary line is the current low watermark on the northerly side of the river.

Later, Ohio moved to amend its complaint to assert that the boundary was the middle of the river.

In 1973, argument was heard on that issue and we denied the motion.

And the case thus reverted to its original posture namely that the northern edge of the river is the line alright but that the parties disagree as to whether it was the 1792 line or the current and changing line.

The Special Master has filed his report recommending the 1792 line.

We agree with the Special Master.

We therefore overrule the exceptions, adopt the Master's report and remand the case to him for the preparation and submission of an appropriate form of decree.

Mr. Justice Powell has filed a dissenting opinion and is joined therein by Mr. Justice White and Mr. Justice Rehnquist.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice Blackmun.