Is Bipartisanship Possible?

An image of the U.S. Capitol Building in the evening.

It’s not easy in today’s polarized politics. But maybe it’s not completely off the table.

We are now, as so often, in a time of divided government. That makes bipartisan cooperation necessary. We are also in a time of hyper-partisanship.  The problem may be compounded by the concessions made by McCarthy to the far Right in order to become Speaker.  Nevertheless, there may be some opportunities for cooperation across party …

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Whose Major Questions Doctrine?

There are two versions of the doctrine. One of them is more dangerous.

When it  struck down Obama’s signature climate regulation in West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court formally adopted the major questions doctrine as a way to synthesize prior anti-regulatory rulings.  The major questions doctrine (MQD to insiders) has gotten a lot of attention. One thing that’s been overlooked, however, is that there are two versions …

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My Farewell to UCLA

Leaving UCLA to join Earthjustice is exciting, and bittersweet, for me

This will be my final Legal Planet post as a member of the UCLA faculty. After 20 wonderful years at UCLA School of Law, directing our Environmental Law Center and Wells Clinic and then co-directing our Emmett Institute with Cara Horowitz, I’m leaving to join Earthjustice as the managing attorney of the organization’s California Regional …

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What Would King Do?

California "YIGBY" Bill Could Empower Churches To Add Affordable Housing

As Martin Luther King day ends here on the west coast, the role of churches and religious institutions looms large. King’s activism arose out of his spiritual commitment. And in California, it looms large in a surprising way concerning the built environment. Land use is (in)famous for its acronyms: NIMBY, BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere …

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The Emergence of the Environmental Justice Movement

The environmental justice movement is now 40 years old. Its influence is only growing.

Dr. King died in 1968, and the Civil Rights Movement had already been a powerful national presence for well over a decade.  Yet it was fourteen more years until environmental justice entered the national spotlight. Environmental justice issues first received widespread attention in 1982 when protests erupted over the construction of a new waste disposal …

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30 Years of U.S. Climate Policy

Here’s a timeline of the victories and defeats since 1992.

Thirty years ago, the United States joined the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The decades since then have been a saga of victories and defeats for U.S. climate policy.  Progress has been made under one President, only to be battered down by the next one. This to-and-fro is a sobering reminder of how …

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Parks and Housing Together: A Win for Communities and the Environment

A new Pritzker Environmental Policy Brief discusses the benefits of parks and affordable housing joint development

Los Angeles needs more parks and more affordable housing. When compared to other major cities across the country, the City of L.A. ranks 78th out of 100 in terms of park access, acreage, amenities, investments, and equitable distribution. More than 1.4 million people in the City of L.A. and nearly five million people in Los …

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Does Ideology Kill?

Interpreting the association between conservatism and COVID death rates.

There is mounting evidence of an association between conservative politics and COVID impacts. Indeed, the higher death rate among Republicans may even have swung some close elections. A recent study sheds light on how ideology and death rates interact. As the Washington Post reports, the results were striking:  “Covid death rates were 11 percent higher …

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Plutocracy Comes Home To Roost

Gavin Newsom Abandons His Climate Commitments To Favor His Billionaire Contributors

Well, well, well, what a surprise: not. Last year, when he single-handedly defeated Proposition 30 but falsely claiming it was a handout to Lyft, Gavin Newsom claimed it was unnecessary because of the state’s investments in clean energy. This was also false, since under its own estimates, the state would be nearly 1 million chargers …

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Single Subject = Single Stupidity

New House Rule Designed To Cause Dysfunction

The House Rules package passed last night is potentially a disaster: it seems specifically created to make it impossible for the federal government to pay its debts, although there are (second-best) ways around it that President Biden will undoubtedly use. One provision, though, seems common-sensical: each bill must have a “single subject.” No more massive …

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