You Thought Bush v. Gore Was a Mess? Check Out the Vote In Georgia v. South Carolina

Today I learned about Georgia v. South Carolina, 497 U.S. 376 (1990).  The case itself is not particularly interesting; it’s a boundary dispute between the two named states, notable only for its apparent holding that states can annex territory by adverse possession.  (Note to Michigan: Start taxing Lake Superior.)  What is interesting is the ways in which the Justices joined, concurred with, or dissented from the opinion of the Court:

“BLACKMUN, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court with respect to Parts I, II, III, and VIII, and the opinion of the Court with respect to Part IV, in which BRENNAN, WHITE, MARSHALL, STEVENS, O’CONNOR, and SCALIA, JJ., joined; with respect to Part V, in which BRENNAN, WHITE, MARSHALL, STEVENS, O’CONNOR, and SCALIA, JJ., joined, and in which REHNQUIST, C.J., and KENNEDY, J., joined except for a portion thereof; with respect to Part VI, in which REHNQUIST, C.J., and BRENNAN, STEVENS, O’CONNOR, SCALIA, and KENNEDY, JJ., joined; with respect to Part VII, in which REHNQUIST, C.J., and BRENNAN, WHITE, MARSHALL, STEVENS, and O’CONNOR, JJ., joined; and with respect to Part IX, in which REHNQUIST, C.J., and BRENNAN, WHITE, MARSHALL, O’CONNOR, and KENNEDY, JJ., joined. WHITE, J., filed an opinion dissenting in part, in which MARSHALL, J., joined, post, p. 497 U. S. 410. STEVENS, J., filed an opinion dissenting in part, in which SCALIA, J., joined, post, p. 412. SCALIA, J., filed an opinion dissenting in part, in which KENNEDY, J., joined, post, p. 497 U. S. 413. KENNEDY, J., filed an opinion dissenting in part, in which REHNQUIST, C.J., joined, post,p. 497 U. S. 413.”

The best part, in  my mind, is that Parts I, II, III, and VIII were joined unanimously.  Everyone digs those.

In case your eyes cross as badly as mine do while trying to read that wall o’relationships, here’s an outline (justices have been alphabetized for convenience:

  • Parts I, II, III, and VIII
    • Blackmun
    • Brennan
    • Kennedy
    • Marshall
    • O’Connor
    • Rehnquist
    • Scalia
    • Stevens
    • White
  • Part IV
    • Blackmun
    • Brennan
    • Marshall
    • O’Connor
    • Scalia
    • Stevens
    • White
  • All of Part V
    • Blackmun
    • Brennan
    • Marshall
    • O’Connor
    • Scalia
    • Stevens
    • White
  • Not-all of Part V
    • Rehnquist
    • Kennedy
  • Part VI
    • Blackmun
    • Brennan
    • Kennedy
    • O’Connor
    • Rehnquist
    • Scalia
    • Stevens
  • Part VII
    • Blackmun
    • Brennan
    • Marshall
    • O’Connor
    • Rehnquist
    • Stevens
    • White
  • Part IX
    • Blackmun
    • Brennan
    • Kennedy
    • Marshall
    • O’Connor
    • Rehnquist
  • Dissents
    • White + Marshall
    • Stevens + Scalia
        • Scalia + Kennedy
          • Kennedy + Rehnquist

 

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About Dani Alexis

Dani Alexis is the Legal Coordinator at Autonomous Press as well as a freelance writer. When she's not working, she coaches winterguard and waits on the whims of two spoiled cats. Check out her most recent work by subscribing to her Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/noncompliantspace.
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