Justices Skeptical of Argument to Overturn Va. Mining Ban

The Supreme Court seems skeptical of arguments by companies seeking to overturn a decades-old ban on uranium mining in Virginia.

The justices heard arguments Monday in a case brought by the owners of a massive uranium deposit in the state's Pittsylvania County. It's the largest known deposit in the U.S.

Virginia says nothing in the federal Atomic Energy Act keeps it from banning the mining of the radioactive metal. But the uranium companies say the state's ban is improper. They argue the state can't ban uranium mining over concerns about the processing of uranium and the safe storage of radioactive waste.

Justices across the ideological spectrum appeared to have concerns during arguments about looking at the purpose of the ban.

Virginia has had a uranium mining ban since the 1980s.

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