About 8,000 cases were denied by the U.S. Supreme Court this session, but Alaska’s John Sturgeon vs. Frost (U.S. Park Service case #17-949) was accepted — for the second time. The announcement came this morning.
The high court’s first ruling in 2016 was narrow, but in Sturgeon’s favor. It sent key questions back to the Ninth Circuit, which doubled down in October, 2017 on its ruling against state sovereignty and aspects of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The 9th Circuit judges ruled the federal government has authority over rivers within the national parks under a broad scope of water reservation provisions in federal law.