A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of downstream states of the Missouri River that some upstream states illegally blocked the release of water from reservoirs. The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled judges in North Dakota and South Dakota should not have issued orders keeping water from being released from reservoirs in their states. A three-judge panel ruled the judges should have used the master manual, the document used to manage the river, and that manual was binding – not just advisory. State officals – Attorney General Jay Nixon, in particular – hail the decision, calling it the most important decision ever regariding operations of the Missouri River.