Justices Rule Federal Courts Can Weigh State Agency Fights

Law360, Dallas (December 10, 2013, 12:20 PM ET) -- Federal courts have the authority to decide most civil disputes even when a parallel state-court proceeding involves the same subject, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a decision overturning an Eighth Circuit ruling in favor of Sprint Communications Inc.

In a unanimous ruling authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court held a federal judge had wrongly abstained from hearing Sprint's argument that the Iowa Utilities Board was preempted by the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 from regulating Voice Over Internet Protocol traffic. The...
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