WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is ruling that one state cannot unwillingly be sued in the courts of another, overruling a 40-year precedent.
The justices are dividing 5-4 Monday in ending a long-running dispute between California officials and Nevada inventor Gilbert Hyatt.
Hyatt is a former California resident who sued California’s tax agency for being too zealous in seeking back taxes from him. Hyatt won a judgment in Nevada courts.
But Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court’s conservative justices that the Constitution forbids states from opening the doors of their courts to a private citizen’s lawsuit against another state. In 1979, the high court concluded otherwise.
The four liberal justices dissented.