Friday, September 15, 2006

Federal judge declares boating illegal in all US navigable waters

If we're to believe this (and I'm not sure if I am, given that this was published by a boating advocacy group, so it's necessarily biased), then some uppity federal judge has tossed out 200 years of development of water rights law.

We spent at least a week on water rights in my property class back in law school. Water rights in the US are complicated, and are very much state-by-state. This is because water in the east is plentiful (like it is in England), and so more or less follows English law on the matter (with some exceptions). Water in the west, on the other hand, is scarce, and totally different rules apply.

This ruling seems to ignore two centuries of nuanced water rights law in favor of creating a maximum property right interest. I wonder how Posner will react....