Traverse City Record-Eagle

Record-Eagle 150th Anniversary

October 3, 2009

R-E editorial decries water diversion

(Continued)

"This is not a controversy between equals. The United States is asserting its sovereign power to regulate commerce and the control of navigable waters within its jurisdiction. It has a standing in this suit not only to remove obstructions to interstate and foreign commerce, but also to carry out our treaty obligations to a foreign power bordering upon some of the lakes concerned and, it may be, also on the footing of an ultimate sovereign interest in the lakes."

Americans in general are too inclined to think of the Great Lakes as our lakes, with little regard to Canada. Citizens of lake cities think of the lake on which they happen to be situated as theirs instead of a possession shared with all the other communities and states along its border. The supreme court's decision should remind everybody that the lakes are no one's private property -- and the same reasoning applies to the navigable lakes and streams throughout the country.

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