Monday, December 5, 2011
Tom Merrill previews Wednesday's oral argument in PPL Montana, LLC v. Montana, one of the few property-related cases in the Supreme Court's docket:
The case is one for history buffs. The question is whether the state of Montana holds title to portions of three riverbeds in the state. The parties agree that the relevant legal test is historical: were the river segments in question part of a waterway that was “navigable in fact” when Montana became a state in 1889? Prominent among the many bits of historical evidence cited are the journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who explored the rivers in 1805 on their famous expedition.