Border expert says deciding factor in Georgia/Tennessee border dispute is not where surveyors meant to draw the line but where people have accepted the line to be over time.
Tennessee-Georgia border dispute derided
When Georgia legislators moved to redraw the border with Tennessee last week, they launched a doomed and costly waste of taxpayer money, say professionals and researchers in the arcane field of state boundaries and surveying.
The long-held legal principle is simple, said border expert Louis DeVorsey: The decisive fact is not where surveyors meant to draw the line - it's where people have accepted the line to be over time.
"It's where people adjusted their lives to," he said.
A retired University of Georgia geography professor, DeVorsey wrote the book on another Georgia border dispute - a court battle between Georgia and South Carolina over the exact line dividing their two states.
Apparently motivated by a thirst for Tennessee River water that flows temptingly close to the state's northern border, Georgia lawmakers have called for a new land survey to put the border where the Peach State lawmakers say it ought to be - on the 35th parallel, about a mile north of where it is now.