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Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren

139 S. Ct. 1894 (2019)

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Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren

United States Supreme Court

139 S. Ct. 1894 (2019)

Facts

Virginia Uranium, Inc. (plaintiff) sought to mine uranium ore from private lands within Virginia. The Atomic Energy Act (AEA) granted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) the authority to oversee the milling and use of uranium throughout the United States. However, a Virginia law outright prohibited uranium mining in Virginia, thus posing an obstacle to Virginia Uranium’s operations. Virginia Uranium filed suit against the State of Virginia (defendant), alleging that under the Supremacy Clause, the AEA preempted state laws and makes the NRC the sole authority to regulate uranium mining. The district court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found against Virginia Uranium, and held that in passing the AEA, Congress did not intend to strip states of their traditional power to regulate mining on lands within their borders. Virginia Uranium filed a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gorsuch, J.)

Concurrence (Ginsburg, J.)

Dissent (Roberts, C.J.)

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