Judge strikes down Nebraska law through which the state approved the Keystone XL route

posted at 6:41 pm on February 19, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Because the Obama administration really needed another justification for their interminable dithering on the Keystone XL pipeline — not to mention the eco-radicals grasping at everything and anything they can to court the success of their counterproductive crusade.

To review: Back in January of last year, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality finished their impact report on TransCanada’s amended proposal for the route the Keystone XL pipeline would take through their state (environmentalists had objected to an earlier version that would have routed the pipeline through the state’s ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region, and this new version proposed to curve around the area instead). The state agency’s report concluded that the pipeline extension would pose “minimal” risks to Nebraska’s environment, triggering a 30-day approval period for Gov. Dave Heineman to submit the final approval for the project to run through the state — which he promptly did. Now, however, a judge is insisting that the whole Department of Environmental Quality-to-governor approval process was never quite the proper and complete way to go about it.

First off, let’s get this out of the way:

 photo Screenshot2014-02-19at45806PM_zpsaa4bc0c1.png

Read: This is not a ruling on any of the pipeline’s merits, but rather on whether the decision went through all of the requisite administrative channels that had been passed into law the year before. On that score, the judge ruled that the governor’s decision was “based on an unconstitutional statute” and is “void on its face”:

Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy ruled Wednesday that the 2012 law improperly gave the governor authority to approve the pipeline route, said David Domina, an Omaha attorney who represented plaintiffs in the case. …

The judge said regulatory control over pipeline companies rests with the Nebraska Public Service Commission. She granted a permanent injunction to prevent Gov. Dave Heineman and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality from taking further action to advance the pipeline.

The ruling would appear to mean TransCanada, the company seeking to build the crude oil pipeline, will have to seek state approval again for its route.

“Under the court’s ruling, TransCanada has no approved route in Nebraska,” Domina said in a news release. “TransCanada is not authorized to condemn the property against Nebraska landowners. The pipeline project is at a standstill in this state.”

Which doesn’t mean that the pipeline won’t have a route through Nebraska, but simply that TransCanada is probably going to have to go through another round of state-approval processing — and you know the eco-radicals are going to desperately, ferociously lobby to drag out this new opportunity for delay as long as they can manage. Good grief.


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:facepalm:

:facepalm:

:facepalm:

xNavigator on February 19, 2014 at 6:42 PM

And a bishop!

xNavigator on February 19, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Because everyone knows the Founding Fathers intended judges to have unlimited and unchecked political power in a Republic.

ConstantineXI on February 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Best judge money can buy.

crankyoldlady on February 19, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Term limits on judges.

jawkneemusic on February 19, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Term limits on judges.

jawkneemusic on February 19, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Instant RECALL elections for Judges. If they get recalled, they forfeit their pensions.

ConstantineXI on February 19, 2014 at 6:46 PM

We are OUTRAGED here. This fcuking judge was bought…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Build it anyway. What are they going to do about it?

CurtZHP on February 19, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Judge has ruled, now let him enforce it, break ground tomorrow and pancake any treehugging hippie who gets in the way.

Rogue on February 19, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Judge has ruled, now let him HER enforce it, break ground tomorrow and pancake any treehugging hippie who gets in the way.

Rogue on February 19, 2014 at 6:50 PM

FIFY

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Why are they not doing this to most of the stuff Obama has done. Heck, hes done so much just with Obamacare…

watertown on February 19, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Job destroyers.

CWchangedhisNicagain on February 19, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Circumvent Nebraska. Apparently they don’t need the jobs this project will create.

Left Coast Right Mind on February 19, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Circumvent Nebraska. Apparently they don’t need the jobs this project will create.

Left Coast Right Mind on February 19, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Yes we do. We really, really want those jobs…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Wait, government is supposed to follow the Constitution? I thought we were past that.

rbj on February 19, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Between the King’s Empirical Rule, the Judges that are in the bag and the EPA…

I don’t see this happening.

BigWyo on February 19, 2014 at 6:53 PM

More proof of America-hating liberals. Let the eco-morons go to Africa where they will really have something to bitch about!

ultracon on February 19, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Wait, government is supposed to follow the Constitution? I thought we were past that.

rbj on February 19, 2014 at 6:53 PM

“And so, I, I, I, ME! MINE! shall write it, and so it shall be done!” -Pharaoh “Ramsees” Obama II

ConstantineXI on February 19, 2014 at 6:55 PM

He must be friends of Ben Nelson.

jake49 on February 19, 2014 at 6:58 PM

You didn’t say “Mother May I.”

Or “pretty please.”

iurockhead on February 19, 2014 at 6:58 PM

what does this administration have over this judge?????

CoffeeLover on February 19, 2014 at 6:59 PM

With Ben Nelson

jake49 on February 19, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Someday, somebody with the means and the drive is going to come to the conclusion that a bullet is a very cheap way to make an example of what can happen to corrupt judges. When that happens, the gun grabbers in Congress will go wild. And it most likely will happen if this kind of behavior continues.

HiJack on February 19, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Is one judge supposed to have this much power? Is this how the framers of the constitution saw the role of the judiciary branch? I doubt it.

dirtseller on February 19, 2014 at 7:01 PM

It seems the term Judge is just another name for Politician.

bluefox on February 19, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Jon Bruning, our AG has already filed an appeal. Gov. Heineman is pleased about the appeal…
Both good men.

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Apparently, that judge needs some pipe laid where it can do the most good. This line will die the death of a thousand legal/bureaucratic cuts, O’ will sigh great relief, the nation will slog along and the Canadians will sell their oil to China. The Eco-Nazis will declare victory and once the Central Valley of Kalifornia is declared an extension of Death Valley and every migratory bird on the continent is dead by windmill, they’ll insist that we all freeze to death as a result of next winter’s Global Warming.

vnvet on February 19, 2014 at 7:03 PM

…who put him in office?

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2014 at 7:04 PM

…who put him in office?

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Whoo do you mean, K2? The judge is a woman…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 7:04 PM

What part is unconstitutional? Again a single person can simply declare something unconstitutional? This is the same delay tactic that foreign and domestic always use. No different than Iraq, Iran, N.Korea, Obama, etc.

Mimzey on February 19, 2014 at 7:06 PM

“foreign and domestic enemies
Mimzey on February 19, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Mimzey on February 19, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Don McLean

rik on February 19, 2014 at 7:14 PM

China sends its regards Nebraska. They really want that dirty old oil. How much longer is sharper going to wait? It is obvious that Obama will never approve it.

Techster64 on February 19, 2014 at 7:15 PM

It was the first Democrat President who said of the Supreme Court handing down a decision:
“The Chief Justice has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

Missilengr on February 19, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Build the pipeline up the judges…..

SuperFlyy on February 19, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Missilengr on February 19, 2014 at 7:17 PM

By today’s standards, I’m not sure Andy would appreciate being called a Dim

rik on February 19, 2014 at 7:19 PM

“The Chief Justice has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

Missilengr on February 19, 2014 at 7:17 PM

The difference is that This president agrees with the decision.

Mimzey on February 19, 2014 at 7:19 PM

That’s it. Game over.

I expect Canada & China to announce a deal to build a pipeline to the British Columbia coast within 30 days.

MichaelGabriel on February 19, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Judge has ruled, now let him enforce it, break ground tomorrow and pancake any treehugging hippie who gets in the way.

Rogue on February 19, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Ha,ha. St. Pancake. I remember her well from back in the day.

chewydog on February 19, 2014 at 7:22 PM

At some point those “judges” must be told to go to hell and then proceed with progress in the best interests of our citizens.

rplat on February 19, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Constitutionality? Constitutionality?

Hasn’t the judge heard? We don’t need to follow no stinkin’ Constitution. We just change the law as we see fit. It works in D.C. – why not Omaha?

Hill60 on February 19, 2014 at 7:33 PM

The No. 2 rail company, which Warren Buffett bought in 2010, is now transporting about 650,000 barrels of crude per day.Big time democrat donor making a killing on “dirty”oil.Obama and the dems are using the environuts as useful idiots for cover.They could care less about the environment.

docflash on February 19, 2014 at 7:36 PM

– why not Omaha?

Hill60 on February 19, 2014 at 7:33 PM

The judge is in Lincoln, our state capital…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 7:38 PM

I guess the judge just let Obama off the hook, now the union nor the greenies can blame him.

Cindy Munford on February 19, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Why is it that Republicans seem to be so bad at handicapping when it comes to judges? Gov Heineman himself appointed Judge Stephanie Stacy to this District Court. She must be a judge after Chief Justice Roberts’ own heart.

NixTyranny on February 19, 2014 at 7:41 PM

I guess the judge just let Obama off the hook, now the union nor the greenies can blame him.

Cindy Munford on February 19, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Lincoln is a blue libtard city, where UNL is located…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 7:43 PM

What? The Legislature isn’t allowed to change the law that it wrote itself? It’s not allowed to decide which part of the Executive branch is responsible for implementing the law?

I guess only judges and presidents are allowed to change the law now.

Socratease on February 19, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Everyone should remember, elections have consequences. Every time you elect a liberal, they appoint activist judges, like this one. Every time you elect a liberal they appoint judges like Elena Kagen who are willing to turn the Constitution upside down to move liberalism forward.

If we keep electing these liberals, we won’t have any rights or a constitution for much longer.

bflat879 on February 19, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Everyone should remember, elections have consequences. Every time you elect a liberal, they appoint activist judges, like this one. Every time you elect a liberal they appoint judges like Elena Kagen who are willing to turn the Constitution upside down to move liberalism forward.

If we keep electing these liberals, we won’t have any rights or a constitution for much longer.

bflat879 on February 19, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Except Gov. Dave Heineman, a very good man and ultra conservative appointed this judge…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Except Gov. Dave Heineman, a very good man and ultra conservative appointed this judge…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Republicans have a history of nominating judges who turn squishy or go flat-out Souter on them.

xNavigator on February 19, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Lincoln is a blue libtard city, where UNL is located…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 7:43 PM

I’m afraid Omaha is not much better. Obama actually got one of Nebraska’s five electoral votes in 2008, thanks to Omaha voters.

nekodachi on February 19, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Tar, feathers, rail… repeat.

Getting time to introduce and pass the Activist Judges Get Capital Punishment Citizen’s Protection Act.

viking01 on February 19, 2014 at 8:12 PM

I’m afraid Omaha is not much better. Obama actually got one of Nebraska’s five electoral votes in 2008, thanks to Omaha voters.

nekodachi on February 19, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Well we DID have three ACORN offices in North Omaha recruiting cousin pookie and digging up the dead…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 8:13 PM

Stephanie Stacy is only one of 8 judges of the Third District court, which is one of 12 districts in the judicial system of the State of Nebraska, which has jurisdiction over only one county. Nebraska also has Courts of Appeals and a Supreme Court, which could overrule Judge Stacy’s decision.

http://supremecourt.ne.gov/cc/judges

According to the above link, Stephanie Stacy does not even appear on the list of District Judges in the state of Nebraska, so she is probably a new appointee.

If the Keystone XL pipeline route would not pass through Lancaster County, she would not have ANY authority to rule on the fate of the pipeline.

This is a supreme arrogance of power by one out of 8 judges in one out of 12 District Courts (there are a total of 63 judges in all 12 districts in the state) in one out of three states (MT, SD, and NE) through which the pipeline would pass. How dare she try to overrule both the elected Nebraska Legislature and the elected Governor?

This case needs to be taken to the Nebraska Court of Appeals ASAP, and Stephanie Stacy needs to be taken to the woodshed.

Steve Z on February 19, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Look who filed the lawsuit, the land owners where the pipeline was to go. They don’t care about if it is good or bad they only care that they where not offered enough money for the land……..

Pomai on February 19, 2014 at 8:21 PM

On that score, the judge ruled that the governor’s decision was “based on an unconstitutional statute” and is “void on its face”:

The judge said regulatory control over pipeline companies rests with the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

So the state constitution gives sole authority over pipeline companies to the Nebraska Public Service Commission?

If not, then it makes no sense to declare that the legislature that created the Nebraska Public Service Commission has no power to change its authority.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 19, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Arrest the judge and ignore the decision.

Come on, Gov. Heineman, do it ….the Obama Way.

KirknBurker on February 19, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Whoo do you mean, K2? The judge is a woman…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 7:04 PM

…has the sex of the judge…been classified by FaceBook though?

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Look who filed the lawsuit, the land owners where the pipeline was to go. They don’t care about if it is good or bad they only care that they where not offered enough money for the land……..

Well, I think a land owner literally has more ground to file a lawsuit than some third party environmentalist…

nekodachi on February 19, 2014 at 8:36 PM

…has the sex of the judge…been classified by FaceBook though?

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Like freaky perjurer Elena Kagan I’m fairly sure it answered the gender question: “either / or.”

viking01 on February 19, 2014 at 8:39 PM

…has the sex of the judge…been classified by FaceBook though?

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Like freaky perjurer Elena Kagan I’m fairly sure it answered the gender question: “either / or.”

viking01 on February 19, 2014 at 8:39 PM

She is actually pretty hot…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 8:44 PM

The Governer should just pull an Obama and rule by decree.

problem solved.

and while he is on it, by decree he should also relieve this judge of the duties

he should have the state IRS (if they have that) investigate all his financials to verify that there is no conflict of interest (e.g. he gets a discount membership of the radical daily)

huntingmoose on February 19, 2014 at 8:46 PM

She is actually pretty hot…

There is no place like Nebraska…

Where the girls are the fairest…

nekodachi on February 19, 2014 at 8:50 PM

She is actually pretty hot…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Would ratso go for it if he could?

viking01 on February 19, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Would ratso go for it if he could?

viking01 on February 19, 2014 at 9:01 PM

LOLZ, probably…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 9:07 PM

lets put this in perspective, the governor of the state is comparable to the president of the us, the legislature if comparable to the congress, the legislature writes laws that give authority to the different state agencies, in this case the legislature gave the governor the authority, the judge did not have the authority to change it.

RonK on February 19, 2014 at 9:22 PM

the judge did not have the authority to change it.

RonK on February 19, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Nor did the pariah Judge Ross who canceled the Prop 8 election which trumped his preferred outcome.

Lots of these judges (Benedict Roberts, Affluenza Judge Boyd, Reinhold Freisler, Harry Blackmun) do what they do knowing the system and other judges will give them a pass.

viking01 on February 19, 2014 at 9:34 PM

We are OUTRAGED here. This fcuking judge was bought…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 6:49 PM

You got that right. I live in Lincoln. I’ll vote her out the first chance I get. (Not everyone in this town is a libtard.)

NebCon on February 19, 2014 at 9:52 PM

(Not everyone in this town is a libtard.)

NebCon on February 19, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Yep, I know that. NE conservatives are the salt of the earth…

OmahaConservative on February 19, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Yep, I know that. NE conservatives are the salt of the earth…

The Go Big RED state!

nekodachi on February 19, 2014 at 10:07 PM

The Nebraska Public Service Commission is the key. Are they a state run agency? If so why wouldn’t the governor have the final say there? Also can they bring the already finished study to the table? On a last note that judge should be investigated by the state of Nebraska, not the Feds.

TexasMoonshine on February 20, 2014 at 9:06 AM

The judge said regulatory control over pipeline companies rests with the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

OK, and on what basis is that regulatory control? Is it mentioned in the Nebraska Consitution? If not, then it’s merely a law that was superseded when the legislature passed a new law! There’s not a constitutional question at all! As a matter of fact, I think the US Congress would have the authority to remove this judge (if the state found it couldn’t) on the basis of the Article 4, Section 4 of the US Constitution.

GWB on February 20, 2014 at 9:40 AM

The judge said regulatory control over pipeline companies rests with the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

I’m sure this came as a surprise to a Cousin of mine who is on the Commission.

RADIOONE on February 20, 2014 at 11:12 AM

A county district judge can block this pipeline? I don’t think so.

J Baustian on February 20, 2014 at 1:38 PM

He must be friends of Ben Nelson.

jake49 on February 19, 2014 at 6:58 PM

No — Warren Buffett.

That’s it. Game over.

I expect Canada & China to announce a deal to build a pipeline to the British Columbia coast within 30 days.

MichaelGabriel on February 19, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Maybe no. I just read something in the past couple of days saying that Harper has simply decided to outwait Ogabe. Harper believes in Keystone so much, he’s willing to sit on his hands until Ogabe and Mooch ride off into the sunset.

catsandbooks on February 20, 2014 at 1:55 PM