Description: Challenge to Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 preemption of local prohibitions on rail transportation of fossil fuels.
Holmquist v. United States
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/31/2017 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Spokane Residents and Workers Challenged Federal Law Preempting Local Bans on Rail Transportation of Fossil Fuels. A physician from Spokane, Washington, and six other individuals who live or work in Spokane filed a lawsuit against the United States alleging that the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA) was unconstitutional to the extent that it preempted local prohibitions on rail transportation of fossil fuels. The plaintiffs alleged that the Spokane City Council had removed from the ballot for November 2016 an initiative that would have banned rail transportation of fossil fuels through the city. The plaintiffs alleged that local officials removed the initiative because the ICCTA would have preempted such a law. The plaintiffs asserted that such preemption violated their “federally-guaranteed constitutional right to a liveable climate” as well as their right to constitutional right to local community self-government. The plaintiffs also alleged that ICCTA’s preemption provisions violated their rights under the Washington constitution to local community self-government.