Water Access Rights: City of Tombstone v. USA, et al

Event Date

Spring 4-8-2013


Tombstone, Arizona, calls itself “the town too tough to die," but it’s gone to court to challenge the federal government’s restriction on access to nearby national forest land that the city claims bars it from repairing necessary water supply lines. Without repairing these lines—damaged by recent storms—the city claims it faces the threat of destruction by fire during the state’s long, hot summers. In its lawsuit, which has received national attention, Tombstone claims that the Tenth Amendment prohibits the federal government from using its power over national forest land in ways that would threaten destruction of cities and infringe on ordinary state powers. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the city in December, but it refused to answer whether "the Tenth Amendment constrains the Forest Service’s authority to regulate Tombstone’s activities under the Property Clause.” The Goldwater Institute’s Nick Dranias, who represents the City, and Professor Peter Appel of the University of Georgia School of Law discuss the case on this previously recorded conference call. Featuring: Prof. Peter Appel, Alex W. Smith Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law Mr. Nick Dranias, Director, Center for Constitutional Government, Goldwater Institute Moderator: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society