Our Owners' Counsel of America colleague William Blake, a partner in the Lincoln office of Nebraska law firm Baylor Evnen, has put up a guest post on OCA's Eminent Domain Law Blog about the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline that recently saw a Nebraska trial court invalidating a state statute as unconstitutional.
The recent Keystone XL decision by Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy (a former partner of this author), is being cast in that mold, but in the process, the litigation is somewhat misunderstood. The ruling is 50 pages long with almost 250 footnotes, and is written in the style of a law review article. The misunderstanding is probably excusable, but it is not an eminent domain case. Eminent domain is only a side effect, and really not much of a side effect. The driving issue has always been the environment, whether the pipeline is going to be dependably safe enough to let it go through the fragile Nebraska Sandhills and over the Ogallala Aquifer?...The underlying question is how the Nebraska Legislature (the Unicameral) can delegate the authority to regulate the siting of a major pipeline.
It's a worthwhile primer on the issues that will soon be before the Nebraska Supreme Court, and a good way to cut through the fog that has surrounded this case (see the following, for example):
Check it out.