It’s easy to joke about Congress’s public ill-repute, but it’s a serious problem.
A recent poll shows that public approval of Congress is still in the basement (though perhaps not flat on the floor, as it was before). This graph shows the trends: But this poll on public “approval” doesn’t tell the whole story. Here’s one that asks instead whether Americans have confidence in key institutions: The configurations …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
The D.C. Circuit has upheld EPA’s regulation of mercury from coal-fired plants. We can all breath easier as a result.
EPA won an important victory in the D.C. Circuit today. In White Stallion Energy Center v. EPA, the court upheld EPA’s new regulations limiting mercury from coal-fired power plants. The main issue in the case was about a threshold requirement for regulation. Before setting limits on mercury from coal plants, EPA had to consider studies of …CONTINUE READING
The language of the statute relating to next week’s argument is clear — but there’s a fly in the ointment.
The Supreme Court will be hearing argument next week in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA. It’s basically a very simple statutory interpretation case, except for two things. First, it’s about climate change, and nothing about climate change ever seems to be simple and straightforward. Second, although the language of the statute, prior Supreme Court precedent, …CONTINUE READING
Environmental law revolves around statutes, so the topic of statutory interpretation is crucial for lawyers in the field. For the past thirty years, Justice Scalia has promoted an approach called textualism, which purports to provide an objective method of interpreting laws. This approach often, though not always, leads to narrower reader of statutes than broader …CONTINUE READING
It got less attention than it should because it was upstaged by the Supreme Court’s healthcare decision, but last week’s D.C. Circuit ruling on climate change was almost as important in its own way. By upholding EPA’s regulations, the court validated the federal government’s main effort to control greenhouse gases. To the extent that the …CONTINUE READING
It’s a fairly standard advertisement. But for years, many scholars and lawyers have thought it constitutes illegal sex discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. In Fair Housing Council v. roommate.com, a recent opinion by Alex Kozinski and joined by Stephen Reinhardt (so there’s your first surprise), the 9th Circuit has said that such ads are permissible. I realize …CONTINUE READING
I am sad beyond words to have to report the death of my friend and colleague Phil Frickey. His death is a great loss to Berkeley and the legal academy more generally. In terms of his scholarship, Phil was a major figure in constitutional law, but was probably best known among legal academics for his …CONTINUE READING