Antitrust state-action immunity argument postponed because of possible settlement

Electrical lines along a Salt River Project canal The Supreme Court was set to hear argument on March 19 in Salt River Project v. Tesla Energy Operations Inc., but today the court postponed oral argument and the case may ultimately settle before argument. This case presents the question of whether a district-court order denying antitrust state-action immunity may be appealed immediately, or only after a final judgment. The underlying dispute pits rooftop-solar company SolarCity (now part of Tesla) against Salt River Project, an Arizona electrical utility, in a battle over rooftop solar electricity generation. After SolarCity sued Salt River Project over antitrust claims, Salt River Project unsuccessfully moved to dismiss based on the antitrust doctrine of state-action immunity. Salt River Project sought to appeal the district court’s denial of immunity to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit before the district court entered final judgment. Although litigants…

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