South Carolina v. United States (P)

The State of South Carolina failed to establish its standing to bring this action to enjoin the United States and other defendants from terminating the construction of a mixed-oxide fuel nuclear processing facility located at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

The only theory of injury advanced by South Carolina — that it will be the permanent repository of the nuclear material currently stored at the Savannah River Site — rests upon a highly attenuated chain of possibilities and contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all.

That the State’s claims are not currently justiciable does not mean that they never will be so. If uncertainty as to several links in the chain of possibilities is resolved, then South Carolina’s alleged injury may move from the speculative to the concrete, and therefore the two claims also may become ripe for review. But until that uncertainty is lifted, the Constitution demands that this courts withholds judicial review.

Preliminary injunction vacated.

South Carolina v. United States (P), No. 18-1684, Jan. 8, 2019. 4th Cir. (Wynn) from DSC at Aiken (Childs).

Categories: 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Opinions, Published

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