conservative judicial activism

Conservative Judicial Activism Strikes Again

A wild-eyed misinterpretation of the commerce clause

A federal district judge ruled today that the federal government’s moratorium on evictions is unconstitutional. The judge’s theory is that evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent isn’t an “economic” activity. Therefore, it’s beyond Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. I know that sounds nuts, but that actually it is what the judge said. The judge’s theory …


Justice Stevens and the Rule of (Environmental) Law

A simple but powerful principle: courts and agencies should respect statutes.

Justice Stevens and the Rule of (Environmental) Law There’s already been a lot written in the aftermath of Justice Stevens’s death, including Ann Carlson’s excellent Legal Planet post last week. I’d like to add something about an aspect of his jurisprudence that had great relevance to environmental law: his belief in the rule of law, …


Fifth Circuit reverses Gulf of Mexico moratorium contempt ruling

You might remember that after the Deepwater Horizon blowout the Department of Interior issued a six-month moratorium on new deepwater exploratory drilling. An industry consortium challenged the moratorium, winning a preliminary injunction against its enforcement from District Judge Martin Feldman. (I criticized that decision here.) Interior withdrew that first moratorium but subsequently issued a second, …


Contempt? Not by Interior

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. Conservative media and bloggers are making much of a ruling last week by Judge Martin Feldman of the Eastern District of Louisiana that the Department of Interior was in contempt of his June 2010 order enjoining enforcement of the May moratorium on new deepwater exploratory drilling for oil. The Washington Times, for …


Edith Jones Declares War on America’s Coastline

Edith Jones, the 5th Circuit Chief Judge who makes wingnuts swoon, is at it again, this time in Severance v. Patterson, a Takings test case brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation.  For environmentalists, Severance is also a test case in who is going to have to pay for coastal damage from climate change.  Edith Jones …