The US Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of New Jersey in its fight with New York over decades-old joint Waterfront Commission intended at targeting crime and corruption at New York Harbor.
In recent years, New Jersey has sought to withdraw from the Commission, over which New York sued.
“The question presented is straightforward: Does the Waterfront Commission compact allow New Jersey to unilaterally withdraw from the compact notwithstanding New York’s opposition? The answer is yes,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for the court’s opinion, which was unanimous.
The Waterfront Commission was first formed by New York and New Jersey 70 years ago to fight rampant crime and corruption at docks and piers.
“Here, the compact involves the delegation of a fundamental aspect of a state’s sovereign power — its ability to protect the people, property, and economic activity within its borders—to a bistate agency,” the justices said.
“The nature of that delegation buttresses our conclusion that New York and New Jersey did not permanently give up…their authority to withdraw from the compact and to exercise those sovereign police powers at the port as each state sees fit.”