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Robinson Township v. Commonwealth

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

February 21, 2014

ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; BRIAN COPPOLA, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SUPERVISOR OF ROBINSON TOWNSHIP; TOWNSHIP OF NOCKAMIXON, BUCKS COUNTY, PA; TOWNSHIP OF SOUTH FAYETTE, ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA; PETERS TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; DAVID M. BALL, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COUNCILMAN OF PETERS TOWNSHIP; TOWNSHIP OF CECIL, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; BOROUGH OF YARDLEY, BUCKS COUNTY, PA; DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER NETWORK; MAYA VAN ROSSUM, THE DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER; MEHERNOSH KHAN, M.D.
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION; ROBERT F. POWELSON, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION; OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF PENNSYLVANIA; KATHLEEN KANE, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION; and E. CHRISTOPHER ABRUZZO, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; BRIAN COPPOLA, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SUPERVISOR OF ROBINSON TOWNSHIP; TOWNSHIP OF NOCKAMIXON, BUCKS COUNTY, PA; TOWNSHIP OF SOUTH FAYETTE, ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA; PETERS TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; DAVID M. BALL, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COUNCILMAN OF PETERS TOWNSHIP; TOWNSHIP OF CECIL, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; BOROUGH OF YARDLEY, BUCKS COUNTY, PA; DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER NETWORK; MAYA VAN ROSSUM, THE DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER; MEHERNOSH KHAN, M.D. APPEAL OF: PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION; ROBERT F. POWELSON, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION; PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION; AND E. CHRISTOPHER ABRUZZO, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; BRIAN COPPOLA, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SUPERVISOR OF ROBINSON TOWNSHIP; TOWNSHIP OF NOCKAMIXON, BUCKS COUNTY, PA; TOWNSHIP OF SOUTH FAYETTE, ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA; PETERS TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; DAVID M. BALL, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COUNCILMAN OF PETERS TOWNSHIP; TOWNSHIP OF CECIL, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; BOROUGH OF YARDLEY, BUCKS COUNTY, PA; DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER NETWORK; MAYA VAN ROSSUM, THE DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER; MEHERNOSH KHAN, M.D.
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION; ROBERT F. POWELSON, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION; OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF PENNSYLVANIA; KATHLEEN KANE, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION; AND E. CHRISTOPHER ABRUZZO, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION APPEAL OF: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF PENNSYLVANIA; KATHLEEN KANE, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; BRIAN COPPOLA, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SUPERVISOR OF ROBINSON TOWNSHIP; TOWNSHIP OF NOCKAMIXON, BUCKS COUNTY, PA; TOWNSHIP OF SOUTH FAYETTE, ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA; PETERS TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; DAVID M. BALL, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COUNCILMAN OF PETERS TOWNSHIP; TOWNSHIP OF CECIL, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; BOROUGH OF YARDLEY, BUCKS COUNTY, PA; DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER NETWORK; MAYA VAN ROSSUM, THE DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER; MEHERNOSH KHAN, M.D., Cross-appellants
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION; ROBERT F. POWELSON, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION; OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF PENNSYLVANIA; KATHLEEN KANE, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION; AND E. CHRISTOPHER ABRUZZO, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, Cross-appellees ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; BRIAN COPPOLA, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SUPERVISOR OF ROBINSON TOWNSHIP; TOWNSHIP OF NOCKAMIXON, BUCKS COUNTY, PA; TOWNSHIP OF SOUTH FAYETTE, ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA; PETERS TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; DAVID M. BALL, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COUNCILMAN OF PETERS TOWNSHIP; TOWNSHIP OF CECIL, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA; BOROUGH OF YARDLEY, BUCKS COUNTY, PA; DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER NETWORK; MAYA VAN ROSSUM, THE DELAWARE RIVERKEEPER; MEHERNOSH KHAN, M.D., Cross-appellants
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION; ROBERT F. POWELSON, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION; OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF PENNSYLVANIA; KATHLEEN KANE, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION; AND E. CHRISTOPHER ABRUZZO, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, Cross-appellees

Application for Reargument or Reconsideration of the Opinions and Order entered by this Court on December 19, 2013

ORDER

PER CURIAM

AND NOW, this 21st day of February, 2014, the Application for Reargument or Reconsideration of the Opinions and Order entered by this Court on December 19, 2013, is DENIED.

DISSENTING STATEMENT

MR. JUSTICE SAYLOR

I respectfully differ with the majority's decision to deny reconsideration in this matter on the terms requested by the Commonwealth parties. In this regard, I am fully in line with the position that "[f]undamental fairness to a co-equal branch of government, as well as adherence to this Court's precedent and established procedure, mandates that the [Commonwealth parties] be afforded a reasonable opportunity to present evidence before any judicial proclamation is made about whether Act 13 satisfies the newly-mandated balancing test under Section 27" of Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Application for Reargument at 7; accord Robinson Twp. v. Commonwealth, __A.3d __, __, 2013 WL 6687290, *85-90 (Pa. Dec. 19, 2013) (Saylor, J., dissenting). The judiciary simply does not possess the ability to divine the consequences of a legislative enactment absent a developed factual record


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