federal common law
Long before Congress, a notoriously conservative Court started taking pollution seriously.
Well over a century ago, the Supreme Court ruled that it had that power to remedy interstate water pollution. That was in 1901. Six years later, the Court decided its first air pollution case. Notably, these cases came during the conservative Lochner era when the Court was hardly known for its liberalism. Quite the contrary. …CONTINUE READING
With a clever if contrived argument, the Second Circuit tries to eliminate climate change litigation.
On Friday, the Second Circuit issued an important decision in a lawsuit against the oil industry. New York City had sued the oil companies for harms relating to climate change. The appeals court ordered the case dismissed, on the ground that any harm relating to fossil fuel is exclusively regulated by the Clean Air Act. …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
Will the federal courts take over control of climate change litigation? One judge says so.
I’m traveling but wanted to get in a few quick words about Judge Alsup’s decision today in the California climate change litigation. This is a really complex issue, and I wanted to try to unpack it a bit. In general, except where a federal statute or constitutional provision is the basis for an action, legal …CONTINUE READING
Dan’s and Rick’s posts very helpfully summarize the impacts of the Court’s decision today. (They were also probably written at the same time: great minds think alike). But I’m a little more pessimistic than Dan is concerning Congressional action. He suggests that the decision makes it more complex for Congress to repeal EPA jurisdiction since …CONTINUE READING
I like New York in June. The Supreme Court, not so much. June is when the Court finishes up its term and releases any decisions still pending. This year, that means we will soon get a ruling on Connecticut v. AEP, the public nuisance climate case, which was argued in April. Just so you can keep score at home, …CONTINUE READING