OU Law to Host the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

February 9, 2015

The University of Oklahoma College of Law will host the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Tuesday, February 10th and Wednesday, February 11th in the Dick Bell Courtroom, 300 Timberdell Road in Norman.  The judges will hear oral arguments for ten cases, seven of which originated in Oklahoma.   

The first case involves the Keystone Pipeline.  In February 2012, the Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) authorized a permit allowing the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone Gulf Coast Pipeline.  The United States District Court of the Western District of Oklahoma affirmed the Corps actions.  Sierra Club, Inc., Clean Energy Future Oklahoma, and the East Texas Sub Regional Planning Commission (collectively “Appellants”) are appealing that decision.  They claim, in part, the Corps did not analyze the environmental consequences the pipeline could have such as the risk and impacts of oil spills or the cumulative and uplands impacts as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”).  Appellants also claim the Corps also violated the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.  

The Keystone Pipeline is a proposed 1, 179 mile crude oil pipeline that would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.[1] The pipeline is garnering national attention.  In May of 2012, TransCanada filed a new application for a Presidential Permit with the U.S. Department of State.  In March of 2013, the State Department released an 11-volume environmental impact statement.  Republican leaders say the House will vote on final approval next week on legislation that would allow construction[2]

“It is an incredible honor for OU Law to be able to host the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.”  College of Law Dean Joseph Harroz, Jr. said.  “The opportunity for our students to observe, firsthand, oral arguments in front of our federal appellate court is a unique and remarkable experience that will enrich their understanding of our judicial system.”
Hearings begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and recess at noon.      

Media registration is complimentary, however, no cameras are allowed in the courtroom.  Please RSVP to Jessica.Jones@ou.edu or 405-325-2227.

About OU Law:  Founded in 1909, the University of Oklahoma College of Law is Oklahoma’s premier law school and the highest ranked law school in the state by US News & World Report. OU Law is also nationally recognized as “Best Value” law school by National Jurist magazine. OU Law has small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community, accomplished faculty with international expertise and a state-of-the-art facility featuring study rooms, court rooms and classrooms equipped with the latest technology. As Oklahoma’s only public law school, OU Law is the academic home of more than 500 students enrolled in the juris doctor program, the John B. Turner Master of Laws program, the master of legal studies program, and various dual degree programs. 

About the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals:  The federal courts of appeals are the intermediate appellate courts between the district (trial) courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.  There are thirteen courts of appeals: eleven numbered circuits (First through Eleventh), the District of Columbia Circuit, and the Federal Circuit. The numbered circuits, including the Tenth Circuit, provide appellate review of all cases tried in the district courts within the geographic area of their jurisdiction; they also decide appeals brought to them by residents of the circuit from various administrative tribunals, including the Tax Court and agencies of the federal government.  The territorial jurisdiction of the Tenth Circuit includes the six states of Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, plus those portions of the Yellowstone National Park extending into Montana and Idaho.

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