Logourl black

Energy Reserves Group, Inc. v. Kansas Power & Light Co.

United States Supreme Court
459 U.S. 400 (1983)


Facts

In 1977, the Kansas Power & Light Co. (defendant) entered into long-term contracts to purchase natural gas from Energy Reserves Group (plaintiff). The contracts contained “price escalator” clauses which permitted the price of natural gas to rise if government regulators fixed a higher price than that specified in the contracts. Subsequently, the State of Kansas adopted a law that provided that the price to be paid for natural gas under a contract could not be increased because of prices set by federal authorities. Thus, when federal regulators increased the price of natural gas, the Kansas State law prevented Energy Reserves Group, Inc. from charging the higher prices it was entitled to under its contracts. Energy Reserves Group brought suit in Kansas state court against Kansas Power & Light Co. seeking to recover the higher price of natural gas under its contracts. The state court ruled for Kansas Power & Light Co., and Energy Reserves Group appealed, arguing that the Kansas state law interfered with its rights under the Contract Clause of the Constitution. The Kansas Supreme Court held that the law did not violate the Contract Clause, and Energy Reserves Group appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Concurrence (Powell, J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Here's why 81,000 law students rely on our case briefs:

  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners not other law students.
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet.
  • 11,364 briefs - keyed to 151 casebooks.
  • Uniform format for every case brief.
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language.
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions.
  • Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.
  • Top-notch customer support.
Start Your Free Trial Now