U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson, of Minnesota, last July issued an order in the long-simmering “water wars” between Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The judge has now issued another order that reveals him to be an advocate and not the disinterested, objective jurist Georgia is entitled to and which normal jurisprudence requires.
Judge Magnuson’s July 17th order was bad enough. In it, he went well beyond setting forth the facts, the arguments, his reasoning and his legal conclusions. The Minnesotan roundly and explicitly chastised the Atlanta metropolitan area for having developed too fast and in a way that failed to meet the judge’s view of the necessity of good planning. In so doing, the judge decided, the city had outstripped the area’s proper water allocation. For this, and based on his narrow view of congressional action and legislative interpretation, the judge issued a draconian order that — unless something happens legislatively or politically