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Bench Book - 1.3 Delegation of State Authority to an Interstate Commission

One of the axioms of modern government is a state legislature’s ability to delegate rulemaking power to an administrative body. This delegation of authority extends to the creation of an interstate commission through an interstate Compact. See Hess v. Port Auth. Trans-Hudson Corp., 513 U.S. 30, 42 (1994); West Virginia ex rel. Dyer v. Sims, 341 U.S. 22, 28 (1951) (obligations imposed by an interstate commission pursuant to an interstate Compact are enforceable on the member states). An interstate Compact may also provide that its interstate commission may determine when member states breach obligations allowing for the imposition of sanctions on non-compliant states. See, e.g., Alabama v. North Carolina, 560 U.S. 300, 342–44 (2010) (interstate commission had such power but was not the sole arbiter of disputes regarding a state’s compliance with the Compact).

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