Although President Obama has already announced plans to veto any legislation
Keystone XL pipeline, the Senate is still set to vote on the issue. How does the Supreme Court
ruling in Nebraska affect the President's and the Senate's decisions?
NPR's Melissa Block sat down with Domina Law Group's own
Brian Jorde, one of the attorneys representing the Nebraska landowners who challenged
the pipeline, to discuss.
Jorde discussed the problem with viewing the Nebraska Supreme Court decision
as a victory for TransCanada. Seven NE Supreme Court justices heard the
lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of LB 1161, the law that
gave NE Governor Dave Heineman (and consequently, TransCanada) the power
of eminent domain to approve the pipeline's route.
The landowners needed five affirmative votes to secure a ruling that LB
1161 is unconstitutional. Unfortunately, three of the judges decided to
sit out and forego a vote. Although the remaining four judges sided with
the landowners, four votes were not enough.
According to Jorde, this outcome "open[ed] up the door unfortunately
for more delays until we can sort out whether or not the governor of Nebraska
can actually give eminent domain powers to a foreign company."
Listen to the interview in its entirety on