Appeal from a judgment entered in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, Munson, C.J., holding, inter alia, that New York's Used and Useful Act violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, granting summary judgment for defendants on plaintiff's constitutional challenges to the Long Island Power Authority Act and dismissing plaintiff's conspiracy claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Governor of the State of New York. Appeal dismissed, judgment vacated in part and remanded with instructions to dismiss portions of the complaint as moot.
Meskill, Altimari*fn* and Mahoney, Circuit Judges.
Defendants-appellants Mario M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, and the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) appeal from that part of a judgment entered in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, Munson, C.J., that granted plaintiff-appellee Long Island Lighting Company's (LILCO) motion for summary judgment and declared the Used and Useful Act, N.Y.Pub.Serv.Law § 66(24) (McKinney 1989) (UAU Act), violative of the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. LILCO cross-appeals from the district court's adverse determination of LILCO's other constitutional challenges to the Used and Useful Act, and appeals from both the court's grant of summary judgment of defendants on LILCO's constitutional challenges to the Long Island Power Authority Act, N.Y.Pub.Auth.Law §§ 1020 to 1020-hh (McKinney Supp. 1989) (LIPA Act), and its dismissal of LILCO's conspiracy claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (1982) against Governor Cuomo. Because the parties to this appeal have agreed to terminate their litigation, we dismiss the appeal, vacate the judgment below in part and remand to the district court with instructions to dismiss portions of the complaint as moot. The district court's opinion is reported at 66 F. Supp. 370 (N.D.N.Y. 1987).
LILCO commenced this action in January 1987 to challenge New York state legislation enacted as part of an effort by the state of New York to prevent the federal licensing and the operation of the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant, located on Long Island Sound in Suffolk County, New York. LILCO is a utility company organized under the laws of New York and the sole owner of the Shoreham plant. The PSC regulates many aspects of LILCO's operations, including the rates that LILCO charges its customers.
In 1986, the New York legislature enacted both the UAU Act and the LIPA Act. The UAU Act prohibits the PSC from including any of Shoreham's costs in LILCO's rate base unless, inter alia, the Shoreham plant commences commercial operation by January 3, 1989,*fn1 an event that did not occur. The LIPA Act created the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and authorized it to acquire the securities or assets of LILCO through either a purchase or the power of eminent domain.
A. Proceedings in the District Court
LILCO's complaint named several defendants, including the PSC, LIPA and Governor Cuomo. LILCO attacked both the UAU Act and the LIPA Act as, inter alia, bills of attainder in violation of article I, section 10 of the United States Constitution, abuses of the state's police power violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and denials of equal protection of the law, also in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. In addition, LILCO claimed that Governor Cuomo had violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by conspiring with various officials to prevent the operation of the Shoreham plant.
Upon the motions of various defendants to dismiss or for summary judgment, the district court granted summary judgment for defendants on LILCO's challenges to the LIPA Act and dismissed its section 1983 claim against Governor Cuomo. The district court also granted LILCO's motion for partial summary judgment, and held that the UAU Act denied LILCO equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. The court accordingly enjoined the PSC from implementing or enforcing the UAU Act. The court further held, however, that the UAU Act was neither a bill of attainder nor a deprivation of due process.
1. The Appeal and Initial Settlement Negotiations
The PSC and Governor Cuomo appealed the district court's adverse holding as to the UAU Act, and LILCO cross-appealed the district court's determination that the UAU Act was neither a bill of attainder nor a deprivation of due process. LILCO appealed both the court's sustainment of the LIPA Act against all challenges and its dismissal of the section 1983 claim against Governor Cuomo. Oral argument took place on January 25, 1988.
While these appeals were pending, Governor Cuomo and LILCO engaged in highly publicized settlement negotiations concerning the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. We initially requested reargument on the effect of these negotiations on the appeals, but subsequently agreed to accept a status report from the parties in lieu of oral argument. We reserved ...