nullCourtesy of Tim Riley

Two days ago the Supreme Court heard the case of Delaware vrs New Jersey. How does a Supreme Court Justice choose between the First State, and the Garden State…..

If one bases it on seniority, then as the First State, Delaware has priority. On the other hand should one go with “one person-one vote” then with more than ten times the number of Delawareans, New Jersey wins.

As to which way it will go, mums the word. Samuel Alito, the newest judge, hails from the Trenton area of New Jersey….will that make a difference?

The real question that needs to be answered is whether laws made well over 200 years ago, should by now be accepted at face value and do they even need be discussed at all? For whatever happens in this case can have profound consequences and create a precedence for many states to change their boundaries at will….Prime example: Ohio like New Jersey, owns the river bank of the western side of the Ohio River, but not the river itself…..That boundary too, was also settled in colonial times.

The Justices appeared to be quite interested in this case. So did quite a few spectators who wanted to see the Supreme Court actually do what the Constitution set it up to do: settle a dispute between the states…..

Chief Justice Roberts framed a question that put everything in perspective.

If two people walked out to the end of a pier extending out from the shores of New Jersey, and one of them was murdered, which state prosecutes the crime.

Should it be in Delaware, where the crime actually occurred, or New Jersey from whence the criminal came. One has only to consider Elkton , Maryland to resolve this matter.

If someone walks from Stone Gate Apartments, robs the State Line Liquor Store of some New Castle Brown Ale, and returns to his Delawarean home to watch the Cowboys beat Green Bay,….the crime was in Maryland; all would agree. After all, what difference should it make to the law, as to whether water does or does not cover the ground? Maryland’s laws apply above ground. Likewise Delaware’s laws should equally apply to sub-aqueous territory as well.

But in 1905 Delaware allowed New Jersey natives to build docks that extended past the low water mark into Delaware’s territory. Precedent? Not hardly……

My nice neighbors mow a foot or two across my line as a courtesy each time they do their lawn. We return the favor, but not as often. If any controversy over a boundary were to occur, we would simply pull the deed, and follow suit. No matter what actions had transpired, the deed still stands….should ownership eventually change, the deed is permanent: it still stands…..

In this case, the Deed gives Delaware rights up to the low water mark on the New Jersey shore. This is no little dock we are talking about. The monstrosity to be built, would seriously impact Delaware’s Coastal Protection Act. Dredging alone would create an environmental hazard.

Safety is a secondary consideration. According to this anti-terrorist organization, one LNG ship has the explosive power of 55 Hiroshima type nuclear bombs. Goodbye Mayor Baker!

Common sense precludes Delaware should win….However surprises happen. We could wake up to find that Delaware has been joined to New Jersey by Executive Order and the whole issue becomes moot.

If Delaware does not win, it can only mean one thing.

I should have argued the case instead of David Frederick.