On June 29, in PennEast Pipeline Co., LLC v. New Jersey et al., No. 19-1039, the Supreme Court rejected New Jersey’s sovereign immunity arguments and held that Section 717f(h) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) authorizes Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) certificate-holders to condemn all necessary rights-of-way to construct pipelines, whether owned by private parties or by states. “Because the [NGA] delegates the federal eminent domain power to private parties, those parties can initiate condemnation proceedings, including against state-owned property.”
Chief Justice Roberts authored the 5-4 opinion, joined by Justices Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, and Kavanaugh. The Court reversed and remanded the Third Circuit’s judgment. In a prior post, we discussed that judgment and other factual and legal background of the case.