Hint: It’s in the southernmost state. Which is not Florida.
The state court on the cutting edge of environmental law is a long way from the major population and media centers, which may be one reason it doesn’t get much attention. It deserves more. The Hawaiian Supreme Court has been forging new paths in environmental law that may lead the way for other courts in …CONTINUE READING
The trial judge in the Juliana case won’t give up, no matter what higher courts say..
An Oregon federal judge has convinced herself that climate change is a constitutional issue. After what promises to be a lengthy trial, Judge Aiken plans to decide whether U.S. energy policy passes constitutional muster. While I have no doubts about her sincerity and good intentions, her opinion itself shows why her courtroom is not the …CONTINUE READING
The latest climate lawsuit is well intended, but it’s almost certain to lose and could do serious harm.
The Children’s Trust has filed another lawsuit, one that gives me serious qualms. I know their hearts are in the right place, but I wish they had thought twice about filing this case. I struggle to find any benefit from the litigation. It has no apparent chance of success. Worse, it disparages people in the …CONTINUE READING
In a very narrowly argued brief, the Administration calls for returning the cases to state court.
The Biden Administration, at the Supreme Court’s invitation, has now filed a brief giving its views about current lawsuits against oil companies. The gist of the brief is that the cases belong in state court., and that the Court should let that happen rather than stepping into the litigation. The brief is right about that, …CONTINUE READING
Cases were few, but one judge was years ahead of her time.
In an earlier post, I tried to figure out when the legal academy first discovered climate changes. As it turns out, it was almost a decade later when the federal courts took notice. Those first climate change cases shed light on how new issues get litigated and how courts respond to new science. My research …CONTINUE READING
Courts in other Western countries are stepping up to the climate challenge.
The atmosphere for climate litigation in our Supreme Court is decidedly chilly. Some of its peers in other countries have taken a much different approach. US lawyers tend to be inward focused, adept at understanding our own legal system but largely unaware of developments elsewhere. Here, I want to briefly summarize some key rulings. Germany. …CONTINUE READING
Last week featured some remarkable developments relating to climate policy.
Some events last week sent a strong signal that the tide is turning against fossil fuels. Each of the events standing alone would have been noteworthy. The clustering of these events dramatizes an important shift. To paraphrase Churchill, this may not be beginning of the end for fossil fuels, but at least it is the …CONTINUE READING
Here’s the state of play and some thoughts about the future.
Trump Administration has been a fertile source of litigation. With the election only about three months away, this seems like a good time to see how things stand in climate-related case. In a nutshell, climate litigation has been a growth industry under Trump, and the Administration has done poorly in court. The Current State of …CONTINUE READING
Which court has jurisdiction? State court or federal?
Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in two climate change cases brought against the oil industry. The court ruled on a narrow but important procedural issue: whether the cases should be sent back to state court. Cities and counties should now be able to continue with the cases, in which they …CONTINUE READING
Flood of lawsuits follows publication of EPA rules to regulate power-plant GHGs
*Updated: Nov. 17, 2015* On Friday, October 23, 2015, the Federal Register formally published EPA’s rules to control greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil-fuel-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act. I described the basics of the rules after EPA released the unofficial text in August. The final text of the rule to regulate new and modified …CONTINUE READING