Massachusetts v. EPA

What Does Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Mean for Environmental Protection?

Short Answer: It’s Not Good

The news that Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring has ramifications for many important areas in constitutional law, including affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and abortion.  His vote was also pivotal in many environmental cases.  Justice Kennedy will almost certainly be replaced by a more conservative justice. If that justice votes with the conservative wing of the …

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Climate Policy in the Bay State

With a nudge from its courts, Massachusetts is pushing back against Trump’s climate agenda.

Even in 2006, it was clear that climate change is a serious threat to Massachusetts. That year, in its path-breaking decision on climate change, the Supreme Court gave Massachusetts standing to challenge the Bush Administration’s refusal to regulate greenhouse gases. The basis for standing was impact of sea level rise on the state. It now …

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Guest Blogger Gregory Dotson: Is Scott Pruitt Calling for an Amendment to the Clean Air Act?

EPA Administrator Resorts to Misleading Rhetoric in Possible Prelude to Revisiting Massachusetts v. EPA

Since he was confirmed to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency six months ago, Administrator Scott Pruitt has relied on three points when discussing the issue of climate change. He has cast doubt on the science by claiming it’s difficult to know the human role “with precision.” He has questioned the ability of the agency …

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Guest Blogger Ben Levitan: The Tenth Anniversary of Massachusetts v. EPA

The opinion stands for EPA’s responsibility to address climate change based on law and science, and to safeguard public health and the environment under adverse political conditions

If it feels like we’re being inundated with bad news about federal climate policy, here’s a cause for hope: this month marks the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, one of the most important environmental cases in our nation’s history. The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Massachusetts came when the …

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A Yawning Credibility Gap

Courts are supposed to defer to agencies. But that happens less often when an agency lacks credibility.

Two themes in the Trump Administration are distrust of experts and a willingness to overrule them on ideological grounds. But undermining the government’s claims to expertise may come back to haunt the Administration. Because Trump is marginalizing government scientific and economic expertise, his regulatory initiatives may get less deference from the courts. There is already a great deal of concern …

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FDA Discretion and Animal Antibiotics

FDA has stalled for 30 years in regulating antibiotics in animal feed. A court says that’s O.K.

The FDA seems to be convinced that current use of antibiotics in animal feed is a threat to human health. But the Second Circuit ruled recently in NRDC v. FDA that EPA has no duty to consider banning their use.  That may seem ridiculous, but actually it’s a very close case legally.  The court’s discussion of Massachusetts …

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Guest Blogger John Nagle: The Clean Air Act Applies to Greenhouse Gases Because of What Congress Said, Not Because of What Congress Intended

A Reply to Megan Herzog

In my recent CNN op-ed and in her previous post, Megan Herzog and I agree that the Supreme Court has properly interpreted the Clean Air Act (CAA) to apply to the emission of greenhouse gases. We just disagree about the correct manner in which to reach that conclusion. Judges and scholars generally favor an originalist …

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A Response to John Nagle: The Clean Air Act as a Whole Supports Climate Regulation

Debating the Relationship between the Healthcare Fight and Climate Regulation

Last week, conflicting federal court decisions regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the ACA or “Obamacare,” set the nation abuzz. In Halbig v. Burwell, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation providing federal subsidies to low-income taxpayers who purchase health insurance through a …

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Obama’s Clean Air Act 111d Rules Are Legally Required, Not an End Run Around Congress

Massachusetts v. EPA triggered the President’s Action

On Monday, President Obama is expected to release proposed regulations to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.  Leaks to date suggest that the rules, which will cover 40 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, will be ambitious and far-reaching, requiring cuts of approximately 20 percent from the electricity sector. We can already anticipate …

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Can We Make a Deal on Keystone XL?

Well, no, we probably can’t.  But President Obama might be well advised to try. Republicans are currently trying to force the White House into approving the pipeline.  Nebraska’s Governor recently flip-flopped and supported Keystone, saying now that he trusts TransCanada to do the necessary environmental work to protect the state’s econoloigcally sensitive Sandhill region.  In …

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