Interstate Compacts Are Agreements Among States True Or False


Intergovernmental pacts are interstate-negotiated treaties. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the term “compact” should be understood as a “treaty.” [1] Interstate states are the only method authorized by the U.S. Constitution for states to significantly alter their mutual relations. [2] As such, they provide a mechanism for states to create, among other things, intergovernmental agencies, often referred to as “commissions” or “authorities,” to address problems more effectively than in large conurbations, for example, which cover parts of several states[3], and to resolve disputes between states cooperatively instead of resorting to litigation. [4] The organization and structure of intergovernmental pacts vary, but as has already been mentioned, pacts are contracts and, on the whole, can be expected to deal with subjects and contain provisions that are often included in contractual documents. [34] Typical common provisions include that the date of congressional approval is not set by the Constitution, so that approval can be given either before or after state approval of a particular pact. Consent may be explicit, but it can also be inferred from the circumstances. Congress may also set conditions for approving a pact.

[2] Congress must explicitly approve any pact that would increase the political power of states in a way that would bring down the power of the federal government. [3] [34] Council of State Governments, A Guide to Development, Content and Format: Interstate Compacts No. 1 (2003), www.csg.org/knowledgecenter/docs/ncic/Format.pdf (June 18, 2018). Mr Buenger et al. stress that the elements of contract formation – supply, acceptance, mutual agreement or “meeting of minds” and consideration – should be taken into account in a legal analysis of intergovernmental pacts. Buenger et al., supra note 2, at 43-48. While historically, intergovernmental pacts have included only states as parties, the federal government has recently participated in some pacts. [73] Indeed, some Pacts require a representative of the federal government to participate in compact governance. For example, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the Compact Tunnel require that a member of the 13-member board of directors governing the pact be appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, as noted above. [74] Some pacts have been implemented by Congress under federal law and provide for direct federal involvement in matters involved in the pact, such as the Interstate Agreement on Detainers,[75] which applies to the transfer of prisoners convicted of independent trials.

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