Waterfront Commission of NY Harbor v. Governor of NJ

The States of New Jersey and New York agreed more than half a century ago to enter into the Waterfront Commission Compact. More recently, New Jersey enacted legislation to withdraw from the Compact. To prevent this unilateral termination, the Waterfront Commission sued the Governor of New Jersey in federal court. The District Court granted the Commission’s motion for summary judgment and denied the separate motions of the Governor and the Legislature. The Court of the Third Circuit reversed the order of the District Court.


The Court of the Third Circuit held that because the state of New Jersey was the real, substantial party in interest, its immunity should have barred the District Court from exercising subject-matter jurisdiction. Accordingly, this case should have been dismissed.

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