February 3, 2021

WE CAN HOPE: This Legal Hurdle Could Trip Up Biden’s Cancellation of Keystone XL Pipeline.

A lawsuit from across the northern U.S. border over the Biden administration’s halting of an oil pipeline could hang on a Supreme Court ruling against the Trump administration related to the southern border.

In his first day in office, President Joe Biden canceled construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, an action projected to wipe out 11,000 jobs, including 8,000 union jobs.

Biden’s move reversed President Donald Trump’s executive action in early 2017 clearing the way for construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline from Alberta, Canada, through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska. The project already had begun in Canada.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney threatened legal action against the Biden administration, calling cancellation of the project a “gut punch” and “insult” to Canada. . . .

A recent Supreme Court case that may provide guidance is Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. In a 5-4 decision last June, the justices ruled that the Trump administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act by doing away with an Obama administration policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

The key similarity is the concept of “reliance interest,” GianCarlo Canaparo, a legal fellow with The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. The phrase is mentioned several times in the high court’s opinion in the DACA case.

President Barack Obama’s executive action, which allowed illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors to stay legally under certain circumstances, created an expectation among people in the country. Thus, if the U.S. government wanted to scrap the DACA policy, it would have to go through an administrative procedure.

This created a “reliance interest” in the policy, the majority opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts said.

TC Energy and the Canadian government likely also would have a reliance interest, said Canaparo, who has been researching potential legal avenues for the pipeline case.

Yes, but will #OrangeManBad also be a judicial principle?

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