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Late Friday, a state judge in Louisiana ruled unconstitutional a bill passed earlier this year by lawmakers intended to block a mega-lawsuit against energy infrastructure companies for coastal wetlands damage. The lawsuit was brought by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (see Daily GPI, July 25, 2013).Judge Janice Clark said the law aimed at blocking the lawsuit failed, in part, because it violated the state constitution's separation of powers clause as it sought to retroactively nullify an earlier court decision. Clark's decision could be appealed to the state supreme court. Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association (LOGA) support the legislation blocking the lawsuit. Jindal’s office did not respond to a request for comment Monday. LOGA said, “We have known that this case would be appealed to the First Circuit Court, and now to the Louisiana Supreme Court, for some time...We look forward to having our appeal heard at the appropriate time.” Before Clark's ruling last Friday, two of the companies named in the lawsuit agreed to settle for $50,000 (see Daily GPIOct. 31).

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