SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
No. 137, Orig.
STATE OF MONTANA, PLAINTIFF v. STATE OF
WYOMING AND STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA
ON EXCEPTIONS TO THE REPORT OF THE SPECIAL MASTER
[May 2, 2011]
JUSTICE SCALIA, dissenting.
Thanks to improved irrigation techniques, Wyoming’s
farmers and cattlemen appear to consume more of the
water they divert from the Yellowstone River and its
tributaries today than they did 60 years ago—that is to
say, less of the diverted water ultimately finds its way
back into the Yellowstone. The Court interprets the Yellowstone
River Compact (Compact), see Act of Oct. 30,
1951, ch. 629, 65 Stat. 663, to grant those Wyomans* the
right to increase their consumption so long as they do not
increase the volume of water they diverted beyond pre-
1950 levels. . . .
* The dictionary-approved term is “Wyomingite,” which is also the
name of a type of lava, see Webster’s New International Dictionary
2961 (2d ed. 1957). I believe the people of Wyoming deserve better.