Published on October 14th, 2021 | by Mitchell Driskell0
The Local Lawyer: “Barstool Briefs: Short Stories on Legal Affairs 4”
What a ballgame!I am glad Arkansas went for two. I can’t handle another Ole Miss – Arkansas overtime game. In the meantime, Mississippi sues Tennessee and other legal news.
Mississippi vs. Tennessee in the Supreme Court
Mississippi argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court last week.Not about gun rights or abortion or death penalty, but about the exciting issue of water rights!We, Mississippi that is, are seeking over $600,000,000 in damages from those (allegedly) water poaching jerks in Tennessee over (allegedly) stolen groundwater. Mississippi claims that Memphis’ water company has pumped enough water from an interstate, underground aquifer to suck water from Mississippi’s side of the border into Tennessee.Imagine a huge sponge that sits underground, part of it in Mississippi, part of it in Tennessee.That sponge is the Mississippi Embayment Aquifer System. Mississippi alleges thatMemphis built giant pumps right on the border of Shelby County and Desoto County, like big huge vacuum hoses sucking water out of that sponge, or like the giant spaceship vacuum in the movie Space Balls that sucked all the fresh air from the peaceful planet Druidia.Anyway, Mississippi asserts that when Memphis sucks the water out of the sponge then the water that was naturally trapped beneath Mississippi, and thus the property of Mississippi, gets pulled into Tennessee’s side of the sponge and then used by Memphis.Hydrogeology experts call it a “cone of depression,” a vacuum that pulls water toward the depression, and the experts do not dispute that Memphis is pulling water from Mississippi across state lines.The issue under debate is whether Tennessee should have to pay for it.
College Admissions Scandal Convictions
The first case to go to trial in the college admission scandal ended with two rich parents being convicted for paying their children’s way into prestigious universities.Former casino executive Gamal Abdelaziz was charged with paying $300,000 to get his daughter into the University of Southern California as a basketball recruit.Former Staples Inc. executive John Wilson was accused of paying $220,000 for his son to get into USC as a water polo recruit.Water Polo!Good grief, how hard is it to get into USC and what on earth is so special about it?Is your life over in Southern California if you don’t go to USC?Heck, Lane Kiffin came and went, their football team currently stinks, and wait, maybe the team is made up of rich kids with bogus football scholarships.Regardless, people will apparently do anything to get their kids into USC.Both these guys were convicted of fraud and conspiracy charges. The Staples guy was also convicted of bribery, wire fraud, and filing a false tax return.Thirty-three parents have plead guilty to similar crimes in the broader investigation.Abdelaziz and Wilson will be sentenced to prison in a few weeks.While I love a good trial, their decision to go to trial was a bad decision.
Texas Abortion Law Is Out, Then Back In
The legal ping-pong over the Texas abortion law continues.Remember, Texas passed a law allowing people to sue people whoperform or help perform abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.Because the law allowed private enforcement and did not require State enforcement, the Supreme Court said they could not step in and block the law before a case worked its way to the Supreme Court.Then, a District Court Judge stepped in.Federal District Courts are the federal “trial” courts.There is a District Court in Oxford, across the street from St. Peter’s pumpkin patch.These are the Courts where things start, were juries and Judges make the first decision before the case goes to the appeal level.Well, a Texas District Court Judge in Austin blocked the law.He said that since the private people suing over the law would be using Texas courts, then the law required government (Texas courts) enforcement.He said this was state enforcement that could be banned by a Federal Court as blatantly unconstitutional.He could not and did not overturn the law itself, just banned Texas courts from being a part of it.The next higher up Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court between the District Courts and the Supreme Court, overturned the District Court decision and said that it was not the Federal Court’s power to go around telling states that their laws are unconstitutional until a case is filed on the issue—we can’t jump the gun and strike down state laws just because we want to.So the law is back in effect and the issue has to play out in the Courts.
Mitchell Driskell has been an Oxford lawyer for twenty-one years.He practices criminal law, family law, business transactions and civil litigation. Email him email@example.com.Follow him on Instagram @mdriskell, twitter @MODIIItweets, TikTok @DriskellLaw and on Facebook.