U.S. Supreme Court

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Record on the Environment

He’s highly conservative but has acknowledged the seriousness of climate change

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, has been pretty staunchly conservative in his environmental rulings on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in the last 12 years. He voiced serious skepticism about the validity of the Clean Power Plan during oral arguments on the case in 2016. He struck down …

CONTINUE READING

UCLA Law Wells Environmental Law Clinic Files U.S. Supreme Court Brief on Behalf of Scientists in Endangered Species Act Case

Scientists’ Brief Argues Federal Agencies and Courts Must Use Science in Interpreting “Habitat” Under the Endangered Species Act; Clinic Clients Include Profs. Stuart Pimm & E.O. Wilson, Along With Three MacArthur “Genius” Award Recipients & Ten Other Esteemed Scientists

Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act in 1973 to protect species at risk of extinction.  Congress viewed species extinction as an urgent threat requiring urgent, decisive action.  The result was a bipartisan law designed to apply scientific knowledge and expertise to managing the threats to U.S. species.  While the Act has been controversial, and characterized …

CONTINUE READING

Tribal Fishing/Environmental Justice Rights Prevail After Supreme Court Ruling

Justice Kennedy’s Recusal Proves Decisive in Preserving Tribes’ Legal Victory

Perhaps the most consequential environmental case of the rapidly-concluding U.S. Supreme Court Term ended this week with a whimper rather than a bang: in a curt one-sentence order, the Court ruled that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ earlier decision in Washington v. United States “is affirmed by an equally divided Court.” The justices split 4-to-4 on …

CONTINUE READING

What Does Sports Gambling Have To Do With Environmental Law?

A Lot, Potentially, Following the Supreme Court’s Murphy v. NCAA Decision

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a major decision invalidating a federal statute that had prohibited states from allowing betting on competitive sporting events.  Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, is one of those relatively rare Supreme Court decisions that directly affects a substantial portion of the American public.  So it’s no great surprise that …

CONTINUE READING

Native American Treaties, Declining Salmon Populations, Broken Promises & Environmental Justice

Pending Washington v. U.S. Supreme Court Decision Offers Hope & Vindication for Tribes, Coastal Fisheries

Truth be told, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017-18 Term has been an unsually quiet one for environmental and natural resources law.  Until now. This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a last-minute addition to the Court’s current docket.  Washington v. United States, No. 17-269, a case the justices only accepted for review in January, …

CONTINUE READING

Contentious California Beach Access Case Heads to U.S. Supreme Court

Longstanding Martins Beach Controversy May Well Capture Justices’ Attention

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018-19 Term is already shaping up as a big one for environmental law in general and the longstanding tension between private property rights and environmental regulation in particular.  The Court has already agreed to hear and decide two cases next Term raising the latter set of issues: one involves the question …

CONTINUE READING

Look Out Below!

U.S. Supreme Court Signals Interest in Key Environmental Law/Federal Preemption Case From California

The U.S. Supreme Court today signaled that it is seriously considering whether to review an important environmental law case from California–one in which the California Supreme Court previously ruled that California’s ban on environmentally-damaging suction dredging in state rivers is not preempted by federal law. The case is People v. Rinehart, U.S. Supreme Court No. 16-970. …

CONTINUE READING

Predicting How Neil Gorsuch Would Rule on Environmental Issues

If he’s ever confirmed by the U.S. Senate

Donald Trump just announced his nomination to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.  Here are some very preliminary thoughts. Assuming Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch, is confirmed by the U.S. Senate (by no means a certainty), what do we know about how he would be likely to rule on environmental questions?  As far as I can tell, he …

CONTINUE READING

Upcoming Regulatory Takings Conference 2016

Nation’s Top Annual Takings Event Set for November 4th in New Orleans

One of the most important issues in modern environmental law and policy is the extent to which constitutionally-protected property rights limit environmental regulatory programs at the federal, state and local levels.  Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has focused more attention on this question over the last four decades than any other aspect of modern environmental …

CONTINUE READING

Whither the 2016-17 Court on Environmental Cases?

Docket so far limited to a significant takings case, Murr v. Wisconsin

So far, the docket for the U.S. Supreme Court’s term beginning in October includes no significant statutory environmental case.  It does include an important takings case that could limit or expand the land use powers of all levels of  government to protect wetlands, endangered species habitat, and other ecologically sensitive parcels.  Whether the Court ultimately …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING