From Akin Gump’s Scotusblog.com, Supreme Court-monitoring website, comes the following news of the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of a petition for a writ of certiorari from the 8th Circuit.
The 1/18/02 Canadian Pacific (“CP”) freight train derailment resulted in a toxic release, evacuation, injuries and lawsuits (several in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota).
At one point in the lengthy litigation, some plaintiffs’ claims were dismissed as preempted by the Federal Rail Safety Act (“FRSA”), a dismissal affirmed on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Then the U.S. Congress responded by passing legislation specifically carving out claims such as plaintiffs’ claims from the FRSA preemption found by the U.S. Court of Appeals with a retroactive effective date of 1/18/02.
Then the Eighth Circuit reversed its earlier ruling in light of the new legislation. CP challenges that ruling (and Congress’ right to “reverse” a final decision of the court of appeals) as violating the separation of powers doctrine, CP’s due process rights, CP’s equal protection rights, and the Ex Post Facto clause. The U.S. Supreme Court is to address CP’s petition for certioari this week.