Guest Contributors Matt Lifson, Camila Bustos, and Natasha Brunstein: Redressability of Climate Change Injuries after Juliana
Juliana Litigation’s Disappointing Result Leaves Room for Future Climate Plaintiffs to Allege Redressable Injuries
In the landmark Juliana litigation, the youth plaintiffs sought a judicial decree telling the federal government to develop and implement a plan to do its part to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 350 ppm. The Ninth Circuit dismissed Juliana, holding that the youth plaintiffs’ constitutional and public trust claims were not redressable by an Article …CONTINUE READING
Guest Contributors Rosa Hayes and Samantha Peltz: Silver Linings in the 9th Circuit’s Juliana Decision
Juliana Litigation Provides Clues for Establishing Standing in Future Cases
For many aspiring environmental litigators, such as ourselves, the bold Juliana litigation was the little-case-that-could: it presented a novel constitutional theory to redress the climate crisis, survived a motion to dismiss against all odds, and went up to the Supreme Court not once, but twice. But on January 17, 2020, Juliana hit a significant roadblock …CONTINUE READING
Juliana Judges Surely Had The Higher Court in Mind in Drafting Their Decision
The irony of the Ninth Circuit decision dismissing the Juliana v. United States case this week is plain to see. Two branches of government — the legislative and executive – have failed to act to address an environmental problem that may cause the destruction of the federal government itself. The third branch, the judiciary, recognizes the …CONTINUE READING
Climate change may devastate future generations. Is there a way to get their interests before the courts?
Climate change is not just a long-range problem; it’s one that will get much worse in the future unless major emissions cuts are made. For instance, sea levels will continue to rise for centuries. But the people who will be harmed by these changes can’t go to court: they haven’t been born yet. How can …CONTINUE READING
The odds against the “children’s case” are bad and getting worse. But there’s a valid insight at its core.
Juliana v. United States, often called the “children’s case,” is an imaginative effort to make the federal government responsible for its role in promoting the production and use of fossil fuels and its failure to control carbon emissions. They ask the court to “declare the United States’ current environmental policy infringes their fundamental rights, direct the …CONTINUE READING
Today’s important ruling on standing, public lands, and climate change
In an important ruling this morning, the Tenth Circuit rejected the government’s assertion that it could ignore carbon emissions tied to renewing coal leases. In WildEarth Guardians v. BLM, the court also rejected the mining company’s attack on the standing of environmental groups to raise this claim.The mines in question are in the Powder River …CONTINUE READING
The same tools that have been used to stymie the Obama Administration can be turned against Trump.
Conservatives and industry have perfected some legal tools to block regulation by the Obama Administration. Those tools can be turned against them, by using the same tools to block anti-regulatory moves by the Trump Administration. As a professor, I don’t necessarily agree with all of them. But as a lawyer, I wouldn’t hesitate to use them …CONTINUE READING
A non-environmental case opens the door to new arguments about standing.
One of the recurring questions in standing law is the extent to which Congress can change the application of the standing doctrine. A recent Supreme Court opinion in a non-environmental case sheds some light – not a lot, but some – on this recurring question. The Court has made it clear that there is a …CONTINUE READING
Scalia’s decisions were almost unremittingly anti-environmental.
Over the past three decades, Justice Scalia did much to shape environmental law, nearly always in a conservative direction. Because of the importance of his rulings, environmental lawyers and scholars are all familiar with his work. But for the benefit of others, I thought it might be helpful to summarize his major environmental decisions. The …CONTINUE READING
BP is trying to use standing law to wiggle out of its own settlement agreement. The courts have been right to say no.
BP entered into a settlement in a massive class action against it arising out of the BP oil spill. Now it’s trying to get out of part of the settlement while keeping the rest of the deal in place. BP’s argument involves three areas of confusion in standing doctrine: how does it apply to class actions, …CONTINUE READING