BOSTON, July 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Noted constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe has agreed to represent the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound in its appeal of a federal court decision, which dismissed a multi-party challenge of Cape Wind’s high priced contract with NSTAR.
Professor Tribe is a University Professor at Harvard and a Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School – and he is long considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on the Constitution and the author of the most-cited treatise on the Constitution. He is expected to argue that the decision earlier this year in favor of Massachusetts regulators, NSTAR and Cape Wind by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Stearns seriously misinterpreted the Constitution’s Eleventh Amendment in dismissing the case by the Alliance, the Town of Barnstable and a group of local businesses and residents.
“The opinion of the district court relied on and quoted what my treatise on the Constitution had said about the Eleventh Amendment to reach a conclusion that neither I nor, much more importantly, the U.S. Supreme Court, would agree with – a conclusion that would make that relatively narrow constitutional provision a veritable engine of destruction for otherwise valid constitutional challenges to state laws, policies, and actions,” said Tribe.
That decision was appealed by the Alliance and others to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston in June. The suit alleged that Massachusetts regulators had discriminated against out-of-state power companies – despite their lower costs – by pressuring NSTAR to buy power from an in-state energy company, Cape Wind. The suit alleged that Massachusetts regulators also exceeded their authority in setting wholesale rates for this contract, an action reserved for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).