Request Letter for Amicus Curiae

If you are reading this letter, it is likely that you have been invited to write an amicus brief for our upcoming Supreme Court case, where we intend to seek review of a recent Ninth Circuit decision that essentially shields from judicial review the decommissioning activities of the NRC and its commercial partners.

As you may be aware, Public Watchdogs is committed to holding the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its commercial partners accountable for the safe decommission of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

I am sure you will agree, the importance of safe decommissioning activities at San Onofre and other nuclear power plants across the country cannot be overstated.

While we are still evaluating the best arguments to present, we currently anticipate raising two questions for the Court’s consideration:

 (1) does the Hobbs Act completely preclude federal district court review of all disputes that are even tangentially related to an NRC licensing decision, including those in which the facts giving rise to the dispute did not occur until years after the license was issued?; and,

(2) does the Hobbs Act preclude all civil litigation between private parties that is somehow connected to the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant?

While we believe these questions pose issues of national significance that justify review by the Court, we also know that the Court’s receptivity to our petition will depend, in part, on which organizations seek leave to submit amicus curiae briefs in support.  That is the purpose of this email—to ask you to consider submitting an amicus brief that would explain to the Court the national significance of our petition for an organizations such as yours.

Attached are the submitted briefs and the published opinion from the Ninth Circuit.  If you believe your organization would be well suited to support our petition, please let me know so we can set up a call with our attorneys at Barnes & Thornburg LLP.  Our petition is due to be filed May 28, 2021.

Many thanks for your consideration of this important case.




Charles Langley, Executive Director
Public Watchdogs
(858) 384-2139  Mobile: (858)  752-4600

Relevant documents:

Opinion by Ninth Circuit Judge N. Randy Smith against Public Watchdogs.
2020-12-29 Opinion Affirming(18844659.1)[2785768]

Opening Brief of Public Watchdogs
2020-02-10 19-56531 – 18-1_Opening Brief (Corrected)(16631117.1)

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Answering Brief
2020-03-31 19-56531 – 26 – Answering Brief of NRC(17038784.1)[2785772]

Holtec International Answering Brief
2020-03-31 19-56531 – 27 – Answering Brief of Holtec(17038786.1)[2785771]

Public Watchdogs Reply Brief
2020-04-13 19-56531 – 38 – Appellant’s Reply Brief(17115789.1)[2785769]

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