The Supreme Court and Federal-State Relationships

The Court is currently considering a case debating whether a federal agency had the authority to adopt a program that means customers in the US who use less electricity at peak times would be compensated by the electricity companies. It is an incredibly useful story as the view of the federal bureaucracy is that this is state-federal co-operation whereas the views of the electricity companies are that this is beyond the power of federal government. Useful therefore as an example within the Presidential and Federalism topics of unit 4, but ironic that the electricity companies are hoping that a federal body (the SC) will sort it out for them!

It is also a brilliant article for the Supreme Court as it openly talks about the ideology of the Justices, with ideology seemingly very important in this case. The conservatives have been supportive of the electricity companies whereas the liberals have been more accommodating of the federal role. This is crucial evidence for a student debating the importance of ideology on the Court and the role it plays.

The case is FERC v Electric Power Supply Association