New York sues New Jersey over compact governing Port of New York and New Jersey

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This week we highlight cert petitions (and one original action) that ask the Supreme Court to consider, among other things, whether New Jersey can withdraw from its Waterfront Commission Compact with New York concerning governance and law enforcement over the Port of New York and New Jersey.

In New York v. New Jersey, New York files an original action in the Supreme Court against New Jersey, asking the justices to decide whether New Jersey can unilaterally withdraw from the states’ Waterfront Commission Compact. The compact, agreed to in 1953, formed the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor and granted it broad regulatory and law-enforcement powers over operations at the port. To create the compact, each state passed statutes and, as New York’s bill of complaint indicates is a constitutional requirement for interstate compacts, Congress consented as well. However, in 2018, New Jersey passed a statute to withdraw from the compact, and on Dec. 27, 2021, it formally notified New York that it intends to withdraw. New York maintains that the terms of the compact provide that only Congress can repeal it and that, insofar as the compact represents a federal statute, its breach violates federal law.

In earlier litigation, the Waterfront Commission sued the New Jersey governor to prevent him from enforcing the law. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit agreed with the governor that state sovereign immunity barred the suit. To the 3rd Circuit, the compact did not amount to federal law such that the doctrine of Ex parte Young, which allows federal courts to enjoin state officials from taking actions that allegedly violate federal law, did not apply. The Supreme Court denied certiorari in Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor v. Murphy. However, on March 24, 2022, at the outset of the present litigation (which is not barred by state sovereign immunity because it falls under the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction), the justices issued an order enjoining New Jersey from “taking action to withdraw unilaterally from the Compact or terminate the Commission pending disposition of the motion for leave to file a bill of complaint and, if granted, disposition of the case.”

These and other petitions of the week are below:

New York v. New Jersey
22o156
Issue: Whether the Supreme Court should issue declaratory judgment and/or enjoin New Jersey from withdrawing from its Waterfront Commission Compact with New York, which grants the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor broad regulatory and law-enforcement powers over all operations at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Cochran
21-1239
Issue: Whether a federal district court has jurisdiction to hear a suit in which the respondent in an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission administrative proceeding seeks to enjoin that proceeding, based on an alleged constitutional defect in the statutory provisions that govern the removal of the administrative law judge who will conduct the proceeding.

City of Oakland, California v. Oakland Raiders
21-1243
Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to SCOTUSblog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioner in this case.
Issue: Whether a court may deny a plaintiff with an antitrust injury proximately caused by a defendant’s antitrust violation a Clayton Act cause of action based on a multifactor, prudential balancing test of “antitrust standing.”

O’Donnell & Sons, Inc. v. New York State Department of Tax and Finance
21-1245
Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to SCOTUSblog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the petitioner in this case.
Issue: Whether the Federal Credit Union Act—which exempts federal credit unions “from all taxation” other than taxes on credit unions’ real property and tangible personal property—prohibits the imposition of a state tax on the recording of federal credit union mortgages.

Postmates, LLC v. Winns
21-1246
Issue: Whether agreements calling for individual arbitration are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act with respect to claims asserted under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act.

Ibarguen v. New York
21-1251
Issue: Whether, or under what circumstances, social guests are entitled to the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches of the home that they are visiting.

Hegar v. Texas Entertainment Association, Inc.
21-1258
Issue: Whether, under the Tax Injunction Act, a state revenue measure is a tax if it raises public revenue, notwithstanding a regulatory purpose, as three circuits would hold; if the measure lacks corresponding administrative benefits, as eight circuits would hold; or only if it serves no regulatory purpose at all, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has held.

TitleMax of Delaware, Inc. v. Weissmann
21-1262
Issue: Whether the dormant commerce clause prohibits Pennsylvania from extending its lending laws beyond its borders to loans that out-of-state lenders make to Pennsylvania residents at brick-and-mortar stores in Delaware, Virginia, and Ohio.



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