Since January 2016, 170 separate licensing laws have been passed by states. To date, 42 states and territories have entered into professional licensing agreements for nurses, physicians, physiotherapists, emergency physicians, psychologists, speech-language pathologists/audiologists, occupational therapists, and consultants. The map below shows the widespread use of intergovernmental pacts among professions that offer multi-state practice to their practitioners. Although intergovernmental pacts have been mainly used by health professions, any profession may consider developing an intergovernmental pact for the portability of professional licenses. Inter-State pacts are formal and legally promulgated agreements between two or more States that bind them to the provisions of the covenants. The covenants provide an opportunity for States to address political issues in cooperation, to ensure State approval on complex political issues, to establish State authority over areas reserved for States and to enable States to speak forcefully with a unified voice. For many years after the adoption of the constitution, border disputes prevailed as a subject of agreements between states. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, however, the intergovernmental pact has been increasingly used as an instrument of state cooperation in the implementation of funding programs to solve common problems.11NoteFrankfurter and Landis, The Compact Clause of the Constitution: A Study in Interstate Adjustments, 34 Yale L.J. 685 (1925); F. Zimmerman and M. Wendell, Interstate Compacts since 1925 (1951); F. Zimmerman and M.
Wendell, The Law and Use of Interstate Compacts (1961). The implementation of major public projects, such as the development of the Port of New York by the Port Authority, created by a pact between New York and New Jersey, flood protection, pollution prevention and the conservation and allocation of water provided by interstate waterways, are among the objectives thus achieved. Another important use of this device was established by Congress in the Act of June 6, 1934, 12Footnote48 Stat. 909 (1934). by which it accepted anti-crime agreements in advance. The first response to this incentive was the 1934 Crime Covenant, which provided for the supervision of probation officers and probation officers, to which most states adhered.13FootnoteF. Zimmerman and M. Wendell, Interstate Compacts since 1925 91 (1951). Subsequently, Congress approved, under various conditions, treaties concerning tobacco production, natural gas conservation, regulation of fishing in inland waters, promotion of flood and pollution protection, and other matters. In addition, many States have established standing commissions for intergovernmental cooperation, which have led to the formation of a Council of State Governments, the establishment of special commissions to investigate the problem of crime, the problem of road safety, the problem of trailers, the problems created by social security legislation and the development of uniform State legislation to deal with some of them. 14Footnote7 United States.C.
§ 515; 15 U.S.C§ 717j; 16 U.S.C§ 552; 33 U.S.C. §§ 11, 567-567b. Intergovernmental covenants are different from uniform laws, which are model laws drafted by non-governmental bodies of legal experts to be adopted independently by State legislators, rather than reaching agreement between several States. Most early intergovernmental pacts resolved border disputes, but since the beginning of the 20th century, pacts have been increasingly used as an instrument of state cooperation.  In some cases, an agreement creates a new multi-jurisdiction to manage or enhance a shared resource such as a seaport or public transport infrastructure. * Congress generally has to approve intergovernmental treaties. Aside from the only restriction that congressional approval must be obtained, the constitution has not abandoned the sovereign rights inherent in the original right of states to conclude treaties with each other.1FootnotePoole v. Fleeger, 36 U.S.
(11 pet.) 185, 209 (1837). The Pact, as the Supreme Court has said, adapts to our union of sovereign states the former treaty power of independent sovereign nations.2FootnoteHinderlider v. La Plata River & Cherry Creek Ditch Co., 304 U.S. 92, 104 (1938). In American history, compact technology dates back to the many controversies that have arisen over the ill-defined boundaries of the original colonies. These disputes were generally settled through negotiations, with the resulting agreement requiring the consent of the Crown.3FootnoteFrankfurter and Landis, The Compact Clause of the Constitution: A Study in Interstate Adjustments, 34 Yale L.J. 685, 691 (1925). When political relations with Great Britain were severed, the Articles of Confederation provided for an appeal to Congress in any dispute between two or more states over borders or for any reason4footnoteArticle IX and required congressional approval for any confederation or treaty alliance to which a state was to belong.5footnoteArticle VI. Once Congress approves an intergovernmental pact, the pact, like any other federal law, becomes the law of the land.22FootnoteSee Texas v. New Mexico, 583 U.S. ___, No. 141, Orig., slip op.
to 4 (2018). The limits set by these covenants become binding on all citizens of the signatory states and are decisive for their rights.23FootnotePoole v. Fleeger, 36 USA (11 pet.) 185, 209 (1837); Rhode Island vs. Massachusetts, 37 U.S. (12 pet.) 657, 725 (1838). Private rights can be affected by agreements on the equitable distribution of water in an interstate river without judicial determination of existing rights.24FootnoteHinderlider v. La Plata River & Cherry Creek Ditch Co., 304 U.S. 92, 104, 106 (1938). Valid intergovernmental treaties are protected by the contractual clause, 25FootnoteGreen v. Biddle, 21 U.S. (8 Wheat) 1, 13 (1823); Virginia vs.
West Virginia, 246 U.S. 565 (1918). See also Pennsylvania v. Wheeling & Belmont Bridge Co., 54 U.S. (13 How.) 518, 566 (1852); Olin v Kitzmiller, 259 U.S. 260 (1922). and a provision it contains on action and action acts as a waiver of immunity from actions in federal courts otherwise granted by the Eleventh Amendment.26FootnotePetty v. Tennessee-Missouri Bridge Comm`n, 359 U.S.
275 (1959). The Supreme Court, in exercising its original jurisdiction, may apply intergovernmental treaties under the principles of general contract law.27Footnote Texas v. New Mexico, 482 U.S. 124, 128 (1987). In doing so, the Court held that our role in the settlement of disputes between sovereign states within our original jurisdiction is “very different from that played by the Court in actions between private parties”. “In this singular area,” we noted, “the Court can regulate and shape the process it uses in such a way that, in its judgment, it best furthers the objectives of justice.” Florida vs. Georgia, 585 U.S. ___, No. 142, Orig., slip op. at 10 (2018) (city Kansas v.
Nebraska, 574 U.S. ___, No. 126, Orig., slip op. to 6 (2015); Kentucky vs. Dennison, 65 United States (24 Wie.) 66, 98 (1861)). Thus, the Court made it clear that it should deal with inter-State disputes “in the non-technical spirit appropriate to deal with a quasi-international controversy, recalling that there is no municipal provision governing the matter and that this court may be required to settle disputes which cannot be dealt with by Congress or resolved by the legislature of either State alone”. Id..