U.S. Supreme Court: Resolving the Modern-Day Wars Between the States (Web)

In assessing the results in the five-year, 2,000-document New York-New Jersey “original jurisdiction” case over the fate of Ellis Island, former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice David H. Souter wrote with dismay in the Court’s majority opinion about the “succession of legal fees and expenses arising from interstate boundary disputes.”

The new September Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation, published by the CPR Institute and John Wiley & Sons contains an article by Linda Stamato and Sanford M. Jaffe--co-directors of the Center for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, at Rutgers, the State University, in New Brunswick, N.J.–that proposes a better way: the states should have their representatives sit down and construct a solution instead of litigating, spending taxpayer dollars, and posturing.

The September cover story is out now electronically, with hard copies to be mailed later this week.  To subscribe or get a copy of the story, and for CPR members’ unlimited free access to the current and archive issues, go here.

Stamato and Jaffe propose that the National Governors Association step up.  The article urges the association to establish itself as a forum to get state leaders, elected and otherwise, to discuss rather than bluster, and negotiate rather than fight for years, as happened in all of the cases the article discusses.  Some of those cases are still in mid-fight, while others have been  resolved by the Court. . . but poorly.

The new September issue also includes updates of AlternativesArbitration Fairness Act coverage on this website from the summer.  It also updates this summer's coverage of new Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor's views on settling cases, adding to her views from the confirmation hearings her supplemental answers to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and her written opinions.

--Russ Bleemer, Editor, Alternatives