Supreme Court Accepts, Makes
Public Alaska Delegation's
Brief in Support of Oil Spill Victims
January 29, 2008
The United States Supreme Court on Monday accepted an amicus
brief authored by Alaska's Congressional Delegation in support
of the plaintiffs in Exxon Shipping Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp.
v. Grant Baker, et al. The brief was filed Friday. Upon the
Supreme Court's review and acceptance today, it is now available
to the public.
Alaska's Congressional Delegation,
Senator Ted Stevens, Senator Lisa Murkowski, and Congressman
Don Young, filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on
January 25, 2008, in support of the victims of the 1989 Exxon
Valdez oil spill in the case Exxon Shipping Co. and Exxon
Mobil Corp. v. Grant Baker, et al.
In the brief, the Delegation discusses the origins and legislative
history of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the federal law that is
central to the controversy. The brief incorporates law from
Supreme Court cases and other federal decisions, as well as authority
from Congressional records and academic sources. The Delegation
contends is that the punitive damages awarded to those affected
by the spill are legally protected under maritime law as well
as CWA, a conclusion that directly contradicts Exxon's arguments.
"Justice for the victims of the Exxon Valdez oil spill is
long overdue," said Senator Stevens. "By filing this
brief today, the Congressional Delegation reaffirms our support
for the thousands of Alaskans who have been so adversely impacted
by this disaster. This has been a struggle for nearly two decades
and we hope the Supreme Court closes this unfortunate chapter
in Alaska's history by ruling for the plaintiffs."
"It is deplorable that nearly 20 years after the Exxon Valdez
oil spill 20,000 Alaskans are still without justice," said
Senator Murkowski. "I sincerely hope that the Court will
rule in favor of the many fishermen and communities whose livelihoods
were damaged by this tragic event."
"I am pleased to be a part of this amicus curiae brief with
Senators Stevens and Murkowski and working in support of the
Governor," said Congressman Young. "It is in Alaska's
interest to see justice completed for the 20,000 Alaskan commercial
fishermen, cannery workers, landowners, and Natives impacted
by this horrendous spill. It is my hope that the Supreme Court
will listen with open ears to both sides of the case and make
a determination that favors those whose lives and livelihoods
were so deeply impacted by this tragic accident."
Senators Stevens, Senator Murkowski, and Congressman Young each
bring a unique perspective to this case. Senator Stevens is a
member of the Bar of the Supreme Court and was an active participant
in the drafting and passage of the Clean Water Act in the 1970s.
Senator Murkowski is the only member of Congress born in Alaska
and has the experience of living in a fishing community in the
State. Representative Young has a long history of championing
federal marine legislation and is the only licensed mariner in
Congress. He also is the former Chairman of the House Transportation
and Infrastructure Committee, the panel with jurisdiction over
the Clean Water Act.
On the Web:
Amicus brief authored by Alaska's Congressional
Delegation in support of the plaintiffs in Exxon Shipping
Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Grant Baker, et al. (15-page pdf)
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Offices of U.S. Senators Ted
Stevens & Lisa Murkowski
Office of Rep. Don Young
U.S. Supreme Court
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