Supreme Court

Justice Souter and the Environment

The news that Justice Souter is leaving the Supreme Court probably means little for environmental cases.  Souter has been a reliable environmental vote, joining the majority in Massachusetts v. EPA, the Court’s only case on climate change.  He dissented with the liberal wing in Rapanos v. United States , the convoluted decision about the extent to …

CONTINUE READING

Was it worth it?

Sometimes environmental litigation becomes strikingly divorced from the underlying facts that give rise to it. And sometimes the hardest fought litigation seems to have the least impact on what the parties are ostensibly fighting about. When that litigation creates bad precedents that are difficult to reverse, you have to wonder whether anything of value has …

CONTINUE READING

Supreme Court Denies Cert. in Mercury Case

The Supreme Court has declined to review a lower court opinion striking down the Bush Administration’s regulation of mercury.  This isn’t a huge surprise since the Obama Admimistration indicated that the lower court opinion was consistent with its own regulatory policy, leaving only the industry to seek revieew.  The lower court opinion is one of …

CONTINUE READING

Blowing Off Steam: Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Clean Water Act

The Entergy case, which is now before the Supreme Court, involves EPA regulation of power plant’s cooling systems.  This is an important environmental issue because the cheapest systems kill acquatic life in the front-end intake process and then raise the temperature of water bodies in the back-end discharge.  More broadly, the case raises questions about whether …

CONTINUE READING

How do we decide what is a “Water of the United States”? Rapanos revisited

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinions in Rapanos v. United States in 2006, it has been unclear exactly how the U.S. is to go about evaluating which wetlands and tributaries of navigable waters are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.  Until recently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asserted federal …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING