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Oklahoma water case should be heard by U.S. Supreme Court, federal attorneys say

The U.S. Solicitor General is recommending the high court take up the case involving a North Texas water district that is contesting Oklahoma's refusal to sell it water.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: November 30, 2012 at 8:01 pm •  Published: December 1, 2012

The U.S. Justice Department is recommending the U.S. Supreme Court take up a case involving the controversy over Oklahoma's refusal to allow water sales to a north Texas water district.

The U.S. solicitor general, the administration's advocate before the Supreme Court, filed a legal opinion Friday stating the high court should review the case.

The justices will decide whether to review the case involving Tarrant Regional Water District and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

The Tarrant water district claims the state's highly restrictive laws regarding interstate water sales violate the U.S. Constitution and a congressionally approved water compact among four states.

“This is a significant development and an important step in resolving the legal questions concerning our rights to water under the Red River Compact,” Jim Oliver, general manager of the Tarrant Regional Water District, said in a statement.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt could not be reached for comment late Friday.

The Tarrant Regional Water District supplies water to 1.7 million customers in the Fort Worth area. The water district filed a federal court lawsuit in an effort to overturn Oklahoma laws that place restrictions on out-of-state water sales.

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