Do Climate Change Cases Belong in Federal Court? The Biden Administration Weighs In.
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, …
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1990: The Year the Courts Discovered Climate Change
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 …
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Bold Climate Rulings Beyond Our Borders
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. …
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The Turning Tide
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 …
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Climate Litigation 2020
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 …
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Suing Big Oil
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 …
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Clean Power Plan Litigation Kick-Off
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 …
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Legal Planet Takes Over the Yale Law Journal
Along with Dan, I also have a response to the Ewing/Kysar paper at YLJ Online. (For those of your keeping score at home, two out of three commissioned responses were Legal Planet bloggers: we win!). It should surprise no one that while Dan’s is elegant and technical, mine is cranky and dyspeptic. Here’s the abstract: This …
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Prods and Pleas/Stopgaps and Failsafes
In a recent article in the Yale Law Journal, Benjamin Ewing and Douglas Kysar discuss how other part of government can step in when Congress defaults on its responsibility to make public policy. Their article, Prods and Pleas: Limited Government in an Era of Unlimited Harm, focuses on the tort litigation involving climate change. Using …
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Full Speed Ahead!
The D.C. Circuit rejected efforts to stay EPA’s pending greenhouse gas regulations until the court decides the merits of the appeals. It could well take a year or more for the merits to be decided, so in the meantime EPA can move forward. The court order does not indicate any view on the merits of …
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