Today we had a great victory!
The state of New Jersey won in the 3rd circuit court of appeals against PennEast! (see attached decision) The court decision stated that PennEast, a private company, does not, under the 11th amendment, have the authority to file for eminent domain against a sovereign state. Only the federal government has that authority. Please read on for the HALT summary. And ENJOY today’s victory! The fight may not be over, but this win feels very good!
From Our Friends at HALT:
Today the 3rd Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the NJ Attorney General’s appeal of the lower court ruling granting PennEast the right to access and seize over 40 properties preserved by the state. The court ruled that the state has sovereign immunity under the 11th Amendment of the Constitution and can’t be sued by a private company in federal court. The ruling means that PennEast no longer has any authority over these properties. This is a great victory for all of the homeowners who stood strong against condemnation of their lands, encouraging the Attorney General to take the same stance. While it is unclear what might happen next, this is a significant blow to PennEast’s efforts to advance the project. PennEast could appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, seek to have FERC condemn state lands on their behalf, or possibly try to re-route the project around state-preserved lands. We will share more information as we have it, but should all celebrate this important court victory in the meantime.