The holding of Union Pacific R.R. Co. v. City of Palestine may be of interest only to the parties, but the backstory is a sprawling drama about westward expansion and the legal framework that followed it: “Union Pacific Railroad Company seeks to end its operations in Palestine, Texas, but has been unable to do so because a 1954 Agreement between its predecessor and Defendants City of Palestine and Anderson County, Texas has prevented it from leaving. Because the 1954 Agreement is preempted by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act, Union Pacific is free to leave. … The background of this case spans 150 years, and we have discussed much of it in prior opinions. We nonetheless recount it here to illuminate the intersection between the parties’ purported contractual agreements and increased federal regulation of the railroad system.” No. 21-40445 (July 22, 2022) (cleaned up) (emphasis added).

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