The California Supreme Court currently has approximately twenty pending environmental cases on its docket. This week, the Court’s justices will hear oral arguments in three of the most important of those cases. Taken together, these looming decisions raise important issues concerning the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), federal preemption, climate change mitigation and adaptation, private […]
Retiring California Supreme Court Jurist Leaves Impressive Environmental Law Legacy
The California Supreme Court recently announced that Justice Kathryn Werdegar will retire this August, after serving for 23 years on California’s highest Court. Justice Werdegar is the longest-serving member of the currently-constituted Supreme Court. Over her 23-year career on the Supreme Court, Justice Werdegar has authored at least 25 major opinions on a wide variety […]
Gorsuch doesn’t seem to have a strong agenda in this area, with several pro-environmental rulings.
What could we expect from Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice in environmental and energy cases? After reading all the opinions I could find, I’d say the best news is this: He doesn’t seem to have any particular agenda in the area. That distinguishes him from some past appointees such as Clarence Thomas, who […]
Clean Power Plan, Waters of the U.S. Rules First on the Chopping Block But What Remains in Place Varies Dramatically
The Washington Post is reporting that the Trump Administration will very shortly roll out two executive orders to curtail environmental protection. These rollbacks follow on the heels of the Senate’s confirmation of Scott Pruitt, who has made no secret of his antipathy for federal environmental regulations. The first executive order, as widely expected, will tell the […]
Court of Appeal Justices Appear Inclined to Reject Industry’s Constitutional Attack on State’s Cap-and-Trade Auction System
On Tuesday, the California Court of Appeal in Sacramento heard oral arguments in the most formidable legal challenge to the State of California’s ambitious, multifaceted efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That challenge takes the form of two cases, consolidated on appeal: California Chamber of Commerce v. California Air Resources Board and Morning Star Packing v. California Air […]
Will Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Prompt Long-Awaited Decision in Key Property Rights Case?
In his wide-ranging, long-awaited and (to put it mildly) colorful press conference last week, President Trump promised to announce his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court within two weeks of taking the oath of office. On this pledge, at least, I believe him. Indeed, I’ll be surprised if he waits that long. Senate Republicans refused to […]
Climate Change, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, Constitutional Challenges Dominate Court of Appeals’ Docket
In 2016, at least, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was the most important and influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental law. That’s true for two reasons: first, the U.S. Supreme Court only issued one significant environmental law decision last year, in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes […]
CEQA, Property Rights, Preemption & Clean Water Act Highlight Supreme Court’s Environmental Docket
While 2016 was a quiet year for the U.S. Supreme Court when it came to environmental law, the same cannot be said for the California Supreme Court. To the contrary, 2016 continued a pronounced and significant trend by the California Supreme Court justices in recent years to hear and decide numerous important environmental law issues […]
UCLA Faculty File Amicus Brief on Behalf of Technological Innovation Experts
Late in 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency issued New Source Performance Standards to control greenhouse gas emissions from new and modified fossil-fuel-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act. This regulation is a companion to the more-often-discussed Clean Power Plan rule, which addresses greenhouse gas emissions from existing sources in the power generation sector. Last […]
Meet your new best friend: gridlock, litigation delays, and red tape.
Inertia isn’t something we think about very often. Still less often is it something we feel grateful for. But it’s what prevents us from being tossed around by every passing wind. At this precise moment, that’s something we should hold precious. It’s ironic that environmentalists should now be grateful for all the features that hold […]