Ohio v. Kentucky,
444 U.S. 335 (1980)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ohio v. Kentucky, 444 U.S. 335 (1980)

Ohio v. Kentucky

No. 2, Orig.

Argued December 3, 1979

Decided January 21, 1980

444 U.S. 335


Held: The boundary between Ohio and Kentucky is the low-water mark on the northerly side of the Ohio River as it existed in 1792 when Kentucky was admitted to the Union, not the current low-water mark on the northerly side of the river. Historical factors establish that the boundary is not the Ohio River just as a boundary river, but is the northerly edge. Thus, the accepted rules of accretion ad avulsion attendant upon a wandering river that are applicable in customary situations involving river boundaries between States, do not apply here. Indiana v. Kentucky, 136 U. S. 479, controls this case. Pp. 444 U. S. 337-341.

Exceptions to Special Master's report overruled, report adopted, and case remanded.

BLACKMUN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and BRENNAN, STEWART, MARSHALL, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. POWELL, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which WHITE and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined, post, p. 444 U. S. 341.

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