by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in the case challenging construction of the SWEPCO coal-fired generating plant in Hempstead County. Some of the argument focused on new law aimed at making court appeals of Public Service Commission decisions harder. Is that law retroactive or not? The attorney for the hunting club challenging the plant said absolutely not. He noted that the legislature had originally tried to repeal judicial review of PSC decisions, but removed that portion of the new law, so it shouldn't affect this case. At least two justices — Special Justice Charles Schlumberger and Chief Justice Jim Hannah — questioned the hunting club's lawyer closely on his argument that the court had jurisdiction to resolve the matter.
The arguments take about an hour. You can replay them by clicking this link.