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Supreme Court sets date for Waterfront Commission arguments

BY: RY RIVARD | 12/19/2022 11:38 AM EST

The Supreme Court set a February date to hear a dispute between New York and New Jersey over control of labor at the East Coast’s largest port.

The court announced on Monday that justices would hear oral arguments on Feb. 27 about New Jersey’s attempts to exit the bi-state Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor.

New York wants to block that exit and save the commission, which was formed some 70 years ago to police organized crime at shipping terminals in both states.

Background: The dispute has dragged on for years. New Jersey argues the commission is outdated, New York that it remains important. A previous case, where the commission sued to save itself, was turned away by the court on issues of standing.

New York filed the present earlier this year, just before New Jersey planned to unilaterally withdraw itself from a bi-state agreement and, in turn, the commission.

Since then, the U.S. solicitor general sided with New Jersey, as have some other states, including Texas.

But New York has supporters too, including from Oregon and academics that argue a ruling for New Jersey would undermine “the peace, good neighborhood, and welfare” that similar agreements among states have long provided on issues like water rights.

What’s next: Oral arguments on Feb. 27, when the case will be the second heard that day.

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