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Join us this evening as Ramona Hage Morrison from Nevada and Danny Martinez, from Arizona join us to discuss solutions for attacks on property rights. More

Defining the “United States”

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Guest Author:  Danny Martinez (c)copyright 2011

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“To fully understand the impact of changing the wording from navigable waters to waters of the United States one must understand the clear meaning of what “United States” means.”

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UNITED STATES

In April 2, 2009, S. 787 the Clean Water Restoration Act was introduced to the 111th Congress,  which was a bill to amend the “Federal Water Pollution Control Act” to clarify the jurisdiction of the United States over waters of the United States. Section 1 Short Title says “This Act may be cited as the Clean Water Restoration Act.”  The purpose of the Act was to (1) to reaffirm the original intent of Congress in enacting the Federal Water Pollution control Act Amendments of 1972 (Public Law 92-500; 86 Stat. 816) to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the United States; and (2) to clarify define the waters of the United States that are subject to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.)as those features that were treated as such pursuant to the final rule (including the preamble that final rule) published at 53 Fed. Reg. 20764 (June6, 1988) and 51 Fed Reg 41206 (November 13, 1986) and other applicable rules and interpretations in effect on January, 8, 2001.” [emphasis added]

This act has caused a lot of reaction from the states in regards to their sovereignty and their jurisdiction over waters within the boundaries of their respective states. This has not been diminished in any manner as Sect. 3 Findings (5) “Congress Supports the policy in effect under section 101(g) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251(g)), which states that the authority of each State to allocate quantities of water within its jurisdiction shall not be superseded, abrogated or otherwise impaired by this Act. ….” [emphasis added]

To fully understand the impact of changing the wording from navigable waters to waters of the United States one must understand the clear meaning of what “United States” means.

In 1945 the Supreme Court in Hooven & Allison Co. v. Evatt, 324 U.S. 652 (1945) defined the term “United States” as having three distinct meanings ; The term “United States” may be used in any one of several senses. It may be merely the name of a sovereign occupying the position analogous to that of other sovereigns in the family of nations. It may designate the territory over which the sovereignty to the United States [672] extends, or it may be the collective name of the states which are united by and under the Constitution.” More

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