Drilling Down into Stull v. Entek: Making the Case for Future Litigants

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Adams, Benjamin
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
American landowners take immense pride in pursuing life, liberty, and property, but sometimes these ideals collide in the courtroom with their government’s interests. This was the case for Stull Ranches, LLC, in its suit with Entek GRB, LLC, a federal mineral lessee. Stull and Entek disagreed over whether Entek was free to use Stull’s road for mining operations on the federal government’s property. Stull took issue with Entek’s interpretation of the federal government’s power, derived from 20th-century statutes, leading Entek to file suit with a federal district court. That court partially ruled in favor of Stull. However, upon appeal, Entek garnered a decisive victory, granting it the right to use Stull’s road as incident to its mining activities. So, what factors prompted the court of appeals to diverge from the district court’s ruling? If this issue surfaces again, can future litigants reverse its result?