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City of Hugo v. Nichols

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20292
Nos. 10-7043, (10th Cir., 09/07/2011)

The Tenth Circuit held that an Oklahoma city and a Texas city that entered into water contracts with one another lack standing to challenge Oklahoma's water appropriation permitting process as unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. The claims at issue here are based on a substantive provision of the Constitution, and the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that the Constitution does not contemplate the rights of political subdivisions as against their parent states. Accordingly, the Oklahoma city lacks standing to sue its parent state. Nor does the Texas city have standing. Its injury is not redressable because its standing is premised solely on its contract with the Oklahoma city, which itself lacks standing to sue.