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Photo: Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images

The Supreme Court may reveal as soon as Monday whether it will review an eminent domain lawsuit that could have big implications for natural-gas pipelines.

The big picture: The dispute, over a 120-mile pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, is one of three high-court battles representing the culmination of fights over fossil-fuel infrastructure of all kinds raging over the past decade as a proxy for a larger debate about climate change and energy.

The state of play:

  • A federal appeals court ruled in September that developers of the PennEast Pipeline couldn’t use federal law, per the 11th Amendment protecting states’ rights, to seize land controlled by the state to build the project.
  • The court said its conclusion could likely upend how interstate natural-gas pipelines have been built for 80 years. “But that is what the Eleventh Amendment demands,” the court wrote in its September 2019 decision.

The intrigue: The lawyer representing the pipeline developers suggests its odds are better than most.

  • Paul Clement, partner at Kirkland & Ellis, represented the energy companies that prevailed in a just-decided pipeline case at the Supreme Court.
  • Clement, former Solicitor General during the George W. Bush administration, is just one of three lawyers to have argued 100 cases in front of the Supreme Court (the Appalachian Trail case was his 100th).
  • Clement’s representation of a plaintiff increases the odds from 2% to nearly 25% that the Supreme Court will hear the case, according to a 2017 Villanova Law Review article.

Go deeper: Supreme Court unleashing power over pipelines, natural gas

Go deeper

SCOTUS to hear FCC media deregulation case

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case brought to it by the Federal Communications Commission, with support from the National Association of Broadcasters, about the FCC's longtime attempts to relax media ownership rules.

Why it matters: The case will determine whether a 2017 FCC rule allowing broadcast companies to own more than one of the top four stations in a market can stand. If it does, it will likely usher in even more local broadcast consolidation in the U.S.

Supreme Court will hear major voting rights case

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear a major voting rights case, setting up a clash over states’ handling of absentee ballots.

Why it matters: The court has already invalidated a key section of the Voting Rights Act, even before President Trump solidified and expanded its conservative majority, and is now poised to limit voting-rights enforcement again.

Updated 59 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.