Litigation

The Trump Administration Is On An Environmental Losing Streak

Courts Continue to Strike Down Anti-Environmental Actions

While the Trump Administration’s assault on the environment  is alarming, courts are continuing to hand the administration  an impressive string of losses that mean that, at least in the short term, the assault is much less effective than the administration’s claims of deregulating the economy would lead us all to believe.    In just the […]

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When No News Would Be Good News: The Ongoing Trials of Prop 65

California’s Proposition 65 law has been consistently making the news lately — but not for the reasons it should.

This summer, California’s unique-in-the-nation law governing human exposure to toxic chemicals, Proposition 65, has been consistently making Page 1 — but in ways that belie the adage that “all publicity is good publicity.” Most heavily reported, and acutely politically perilous to the law’s supporters, has been a state trial court ruling that coffee must bear […]

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Trump Loses Another Big Court Case

Ninth Circuit reverses Pruitt decision to allow a dangerous pesticide on food.

Last Thursday, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Scott Pruitt had no justification for allowing even the tiniest traces of a pesticide called chlorpyrifos (also called Lorsban and Dursban) on food. This is yet another judicial slap against lawlessness by the current Administration. Chlorpyrifos was originally invented as a nerve gas, but it turns out that […]

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How Would a Justice Kavanaugh Approach Environmental Cases?

Reflections From a Review of Kavanaugh’s D.C. Circuit Opinions

As we await the outcome of President Trump’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, journalists and legal scholars have been scouring Judge Kavanaugh’s past decisions and legal writings for indications as to how he might resolve pressing legal questions if installed on the Court.  I’m adding here a few thoughts to the many […]

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Awaiting the Climate Change “Trial of the Century”

Juliana v. U.S. “Atmospheric Trust” Federal Trial Set to Begin in October

The Trump Administration really, really doesn’t want the Juliana v. United States case, a.k.a. the “atmospheric trust litigation,” to go to trial. But despite the persistent efforts of President Trump’s Justice Department to have the Juliana case dismissed, it now appears that the most important currently-pending climate change case in the nation will indeed go to trial […]

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Trump’s Contradictory Policies

Trump’s policies clash with each other remarkably often.

A certain amount of policy inconsistency is inevitable in any Administration. But the Trump Administration seems to be breaking all records.  The Administration does have strong impulses. The trouble is that its goals keep colliding.  Here are some examples. Favoring gas at the expense of coal. . .  And vice versa. Trump wants to promote […]

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Wheeler EPA Looking to Freeze Auto Standards, Revoke California Waiver

Lawsuits will follow

According to a Bloomberg report this morning, the Trump Administration, under new EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, will release a proposal later this week to freeze greenhouse gas emission and fuel economy standards at 2020 levels. The effect is that automakers will face standards of about 35 miles per gallon rather than seeing the standards increase […]

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The Chevron Doctrine: Is It Fading? Could That Help Restrain Trump?

The Supreme Court may be shifting the rules for reviewing agency interpretations of statutes.

In June, the Supreme Court decided two cases that could have significant implications for environmental law. The two cases may shed some light on the Court’s current thinking about the Chevron doctrine. The opinions suggest that the Court may be heading in the direction of more rigorous review of interpretations of statutes by agencies like […]

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California Supreme Court Rejects Ploy to Limit the Legislature’s Authority to Enact Technology-Forcing Statutes

Court rules for the State in challenge to technology-forcing gun control law

In a case I previewed here, the California Supreme Court has been considering a challenge to a gun control law passed in 2007 that required certain new models of guns use a developing technology called “microstamping” that would enable law enforcement to link a spent cartridge back to the gun that fired it. The gun […]

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Environmental Strategies for the Post-Kennedy Era

How do we make environmental progress despite an increasingly unsympathetic court?

Ann Carlson wrote an excellent post about how Kennedy’s departure might impact some key environmental issues. His retirement means that the Supreme Court will move even further to the right and stay there at least until one of the conservatives departs (maybe Thomas, the oldest). The new pick is likely to be another Gorsuch, which […]

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