Agreements Between States

While intergovernmental pacts are binding treaties between the states that are part of them, pacts approved by Congress also become federal law. The Supreme Court ruled that a border between states, agreed in an intergovernmental pact approved by Congress, “is binding and ultimately settles the border between them [] and with the same effect as a treaty between sovereign powers.” [21] In Cuyler v. Adams, the Court of Justice, when Congress approved an intergovernmental pact and that “the purpose of this agreement is an appropriate subject for congressional legislation, congressional approval turns the state agreement into federal law, in accordance with the compact clause.” [22] The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has clarified that pacts approved by Congress, which do not threaten the supremacy of the federal state but address matters suitable for congressional legislation, still become a federal right, although such approval has not been required. [23] According to the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court is originally responsible for resolving interstate disputes[24] and the Court will apply intergovernmental covenants in accordance with the principles of contract law. [25] However, as the management function increases at the state level, intergovernmental pacts are expanded to include rules and procedures for managing activities between them. [45] The Council of State Governments[46] recommends the use of an intergovernmental authority to “ensure accountability, training, compliance, enforcement, regulation, information collection and exchange, as well as all staff, in order to make the [compact] a success.” [47] Since pacts are written in the form of contracts, states that negotiate pacts involving the creation of an intergovernmental agency are free to determine the rules applicable to the management of that agency. In the United States, an intergovernmental pact is a pact or agreement between two or more states or between states and a foreign government.

The compact clause (Article I, Section 10, Clause 3) of the United States Constitution provides that “no state ,… with another state or with a foreign power,…”[35] Buenger et al., supra note 2, at 237 to conclude an agreement or pact. The objectives can be developed according to two target groups: legislators from states that wish to enter the pact before their approval, then those acting under the Covenant, and all legal proceedings that may be invited to interpret or enforce it. Id. As a treaty, an intergovernmental pact primarily affects the rights and obligations of states that have chosen to become contracting parties and their respective citizens, since the pact is promulgated by their respective legislators. However, some compacts go so far as to target the effect (if any) of this pact on states that are not contracting parties.