The Trump Administration is doing its best to wipe out Obama’s regulatory legacy. How will the courts respond to such a radical policy change? The philosophical clash between these last two Presidents is especially stark, but this is far from being the first time that agencies have taken U-turns. This is the fifth time in […]
Justice Kennedy’s Recusal Proves Decisive in Preserving Tribes’ Legal Victory
Perhaps the most consequential environmental case of the rapidly-concluding U.S. Supreme Court Term ended this week with a whimper rather than a bang: in a curt one-sentence order, the Court ruled that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ earlier decision in Washington v. United States “is affirmed by an equally divided Court.” The justices split 4-to-4 on […]
A Lot, Potentially, Following the Supreme Court’s Murphy v. NCAA Decision
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a major decision invalidating a federal statute that had prohibited states from allowing betting on competitive sporting events. Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, is one of those relatively rare Supreme Court decisions that directly affects a substantial portion of the American public. So it’s no great surprise that […]
Can Congress prevent state and federal courts from hearing WaterFix lawsuits?
The journey of California’s proposed delta tunnels project (also known as California WaterFix) has been anything but straightforward and already faces a slew of ongoing legal challenges.[i] Last week, Congress added a different kind of twist when the proposed Department of Interior budget for FY 2019 was introduced in the House Appropriations Committee. The relevant […]
Justices Uphold Water Board’s “User Pays” Fee System Against Constitutional Attack
The California Supreme Court has handed the State Water Resources Control Board a major legal win, rejecting an industry challenge to the “user pays”-based system of funding the Board’s water pollution control system. In doing so, the Supreme Court has fended off yet another constitutional challenge to the manner in which environmental regulatory fees are […]
Rolling back the CAFE standards is going to be a heavy analytic lift at best.
The Trump Administration has begun a review of the second phase of fuel efficiency standards adopted by the Obama Administration. Ann Carlson has already blogged about the harmful effects of such a rollback. A new paper by researchers at Resources for the Future sheds some additional light on the situation. Although the study does not […]
Pending Washington v. U.S. Supreme Court Decision Offers Hope & Vindication for Tribes, Coastal Fisheries
Truth be told, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017-18 Term has been an unsually quiet one for environmental and natural resources law. Until now. This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a last-minute addition to the Court’s current docket. Washington v. United States, No. 17-269, a case the justices only accepted for review in January, […]
Personal Reflections on the Raging Debate Over Trump’s Utah Monument Reductions
One of most highly visible disputes arising out of the Trump Administration’s multifaceted efforts to roll back and nullify the natural resources policies of previous administrations is the decision by President Trump and Secretary of the Interior Zinke to substantially reduce two national monuments in Utah created by former President Obama under the Antiquities Act. President Trump’s December […]
What’s next in climate change litigation?
There are three important climate lawsuits pending in federal court. Here’s the state of play and what to expect next. In the first case, Oakland and San Francisco sued leading oil companies. They claim that the companies’ production and sale of fossil fuels is a public nuisance under California state law. They seek an abatement […]
Longstanding Martins Beach Controversy May Well Capture Justices’ Attention
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018-19 Term is already shaping up as a big one for environmental law in general and the longstanding tension between private property rights and environmental regulation in particular. The Court has already agreed to hear and decide two cases next Term raising the latter set of issues: one involves the question […]