New Jersey v. New York
Annotate this Case
345 U.S. 369 (1953)
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U.S. Supreme Court
New Jersey v. New York, 345 U.S. 369 (1953)
New Jersey v. New York
No. 5, Original, October Term, 1950
Argued March 9, 1953
Decided April 6, 1953
345 U.S. 369
New Jersey brought an original suit in this Court against the State of New York and the City of New York to enjoin a proposed diversion of Delaware River water by the City of New York from tributaries within the State of New York. Pennsylvania intervened pro interesse suo and participated actively in the litigation. In 1931, this Court entered a decree, 283 U. S. 805, enjoining the State of New York and the City of New York from diverting more than a specified amount of water per day and providing that any party might apply for a modification of the decree at any time. In 1952, the City of New York, with the approval and support of the State of New York, moved to modify the decree so as to provide for the diversion of additional quantities of water. New Jersey and Pennsylvania filed answers opposing such modification. Subsequently, the City of Philadelphia moved for leave to intervene, asserting its interest in the use of Delaware River water and pointing to the recent grant of a Home Rule Charter as justification for intervention at this point.
Held: the motion for leave to intervene is denied. Pp. 345 U. S. 370-375.
(a) Since Pennsylvania is a party to this suit, which involves a matter of its sovereign interest, it must be deemed to represent all of its citizens and creatures. Kentucky v. Indiana, 281 U. S. 163. Pp. 345 U. S. 372-373.
(b) An intervenor whose State is already a party to an original action has the burden of showing some compelling interest in its own right, apart from its interest in a class with all other citizens and creatures of the State, which interest is not properly represented by its State, and Philadelphia has not met that burden. Pp. 345 U. S. 373-374.
(c) That Philadelphia now has a Home Rule Charter and is now responsible for her own water system does not require a different result, since that responsibility is invariably served by the Commonwealth's position. P. 345 U. S. 374.
(d) The presence in this litigation of New York City, which was joined as a defendant to the original action, is not a sufficient justification for permitting the City of Philadelphia to intervene. Pp. 345 U. S. 374-375.