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For more than a century the Supreme Court has heard a steady stream of original jurisdiction controversies “between two or more States” over interstate waters. It has for even longer heard and decided similar cases involving non-state parties from its appellate dockets. Until now, no synthesis has combined these traditions to describe and explain states’ legal interests in interstate waters as an amalgam of federal common law, Article III’s judicial federalism, and the separation of powers. This article disentangles legacy opinions, orders, and jurisdictional traditions, revealing the bundle of interests that all courts are obliged to protect. It finally offers a choice of law rubric built from key principles animating the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction holdings, the major trends from its non-original dockets, and from what the Court has said about (federal) judge-made law more generally.

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