“I think we need to have our militia down there,” quipped Tennessee House Majority Leader Gary Odom, D-Nashville. [Source: 2/8/2008 Chattanooga Times Free Press article “War of words over water”]
Tennessee state Rep. Gary Odom is speaking to the resolution introduced by Georgia state Senator David Shafer (R-Duluth) that establishes the Georgia-North Carolina and Georgia-Tennessee Boundary Line Commission in order to resolve a nearly 200 year old dispute between Georgia and Tennessee concerning the northern border of Georgia along the 35th parallel.
Senate Resolution 822 and its House companion, H.R.1206, claims “the northern border of the State of Georgia and the southern border of the states of North Carolina and Tennessee lies at the 35th parallel, north of the southernmost bank of the Tennessee River and that a flawed survey conducted in 1818 that was never accepted by the State of Georgia erroneously marks the 35th parallel south of its actual location.”
According to news reports, if Georgia’s border moved north by a mile, the state would then gain access to a portion of the Tennessee River and possibly bring some relief to Atlanta’s water crisis.
Tennessee state legislator Andy Berke (D-Chattanooga) told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, “Most people in the (Tennessee) Legislature understand this is a publicity stunt, but my constituents don’t think that. They don’t think this is an appropriate action for the Georgia Legislature to take even if it is in jest,” the Tennessee state Senator said. [Source: 2/8/2008 AJC article “BORDER DISPUTE: Water war between the states on the line”]
However, Sen. Shafer seemed to suggest that his resolution wasn’t a publicity stunt. In remarks to the Georgia Senate, Shafer said, “The northern border of Georgia is and always has been the 35th parallel. It is never too late to right a wrong.”
S.R.822 was co-sponsored by all 56 Georgia Senators.