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Power Authority of New York v. Federal Power Commission

247 F.2d 538 (1957)

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Power Authority of New York v. Federal Power Commission

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

247 F.2d 538 (1957)

Facts

In 1950 Canada and the United States signed a treaty that split the parties’ rights to water in the Niagara River. When signing the treaty, the United States attached the Senate’s reservation that restricted use of the United States’ portion of the water without express authorization by Congress. The president did not wait for Canada’s approval of this reservation before he signed the treaty. Likewise, Canada had already signed the treaty by the time the reservation was submitted, and Canada did not resubmit the treaty to Canada’s Parliament before agreeing to the reservation. Canada’s approval of the reservation indicated that Canada was accepting the requirements because they related only to United States domestic issues and did not affect Canada’s rights or obligations under the treaty. The Power Authority of New York (the Power Authority) (plaintiff) subsequently applied for a license from the Federal Power Commission (FPC) (defendant) to use the Niagara water. The FPC denied the Power Authority’s application, stating that only Congress had the ability to authorize use of the Niagara water. The Power Authority sued the FPC to set aside the FPC’s order.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bazelon, J.)

Dissent (Bastian, J.)

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