In The

Supreme Court of the United States




Decided June 15, 1989

Justice O’Connor, Dissenting

Topic: Federalism*Court vote: 5–4
Note: No other Justices joined this opinion.
Citation: 491 U.S. 1 Docket: 87–1241Audio: Listen to this case's oral arguments at Oyez

* As categorized by the Washington University Law Supreme Court Database

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JUSTICE O'CONNOR, dissenting.

I agree with JUSTICE SCALIA that a faithful interpretation of the Eleventh Amendment embodies a concept of state sovereignty which limits the power of Congress to abrogate States' immunity when acting pursuant to the Commerce Clause. But that view does not command a majority of the Court, thus necessitating an inquiry as to whether Congress intended in CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq., and SARA, Pub.L. 99-499, 100 Stat. 1613, to abrogate the States' Eleventh Amendment immunity. On that question, I join Part I of JUSTICE WHITE's opinion. I also join Parts II, III, and IV of JUSTICE SCALIA's opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

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