U.S. Supreme Court

What Does Justice Scalia’s Death Mean for the Clean Power Plan?

Basically, everything

I am very sensitive to the emotions surrounding the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia and feel deep sympathy for his family, many friends and colleagues.   He was a towering intellectual force and we will be dissecting his influence for years to come.  Yet the death of a public figure — especially one as …

CONTINUE READING

Initial Thoughts on the Supreme Court Staying the Clean Power Plan

Short Answer: There’s Nothing Good to Say About it

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 half-page order, dealt the Obama Administration a big blow today by preventing its Clean Power Plan from going into effect until the case can be heard on its merits.  We know from the order that the Court split in the usual way, with the four more liberal members of the Court …

CONTINUE READING

Breaking News: Supreme Court Rules Federal Agricultural Program a Taking

Justices Uphold California Raisin Growers’ Fifth Amendment Challenge

The United States Supreme Court today ended a David-and-Goliath-style, 10-year legal battle between a pair of California raisin growers and the federal government, declaring that the government triggered a compensable taking of the growers’ private property when a federally-controled agricultural board ordered seizure of a portion of their crop.  The Court’s decision can be accessed …

CONTINUE READING

The ESA and the Commerce Clause

The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) is widely known for being the primary law in the United States that focuses on protecting biodiversity, and also for being a “pit bull” of environmental laws that has few exceptions and broad sweep. (For instance, the ESA was a major component of the litigation strategy by environmental groups …

CONTINUE READING

Update: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review in California Low Carbon Fuel Standard Case

Justices Decline to Address Constitutionality of LCFS

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied certiorari in closely-watched cases in which the constitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) was being challenged.  The LCFS is, in turn, an integral part of the state’s multifaceted strategy to reduce California’s aggregate greenhouse gas emissions as required under AB 32, the state’s landmark 2006 climate change …

CONTINUE READING

California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Before the Supreme Court

Will the Justices Choose to Decide the LCFS’s Constitutionality?

You might think that the U.S. Supreme Court, having decided the Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA Clean Air Act case on Monday, was done for the current Term when it comes to environmental law and policy. Think again. Today the justices met in conference to decide whether to grant review in a large number of pending …

CONTINUE READING

How Scalia Might Have Ended the Best Hope of Killing EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Rules

The Supreme Court may have just eliminated a major legal and political risk to EPA’s greenhouse gas regulatory program

A couple of folks have already written about the UARG decision, and there is surely more to understand about the implications of the Scalia majority decision for future EPA greenhouse gas regulatory efforts. But I want to highlight one key implication of the decision for EPA’s overall greenhouse gas regulatory program. First, it is important …

CONTINUE READING

Breaking News: U.S. Supreme Court Renders Split Decision in Major Climate Change Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued its long-awaited decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, the justices’ third encounter with climate change law and policy.  In a Solomonic ruling, the Court ruled that EPA lacks authority to require the operators of “stationary sources” of greenhouse gas emissions (power plants, factories, etc.) to obtain …

CONTINUE READING

UARG Decision — Due Any Day Now — Should Not Undermine the Legality of CAA Section 111d Rules

Case involves statutory interpretation questions not relevant to power plant rules

The U.S. Supreme Court should issue a decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. EPA very soon, perhaps as early as Monday (the Court typically issues its opinions on Mondays and Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. EST).  The case involves an important set of regulations designed to regulate greenhouse gases from large new “sources” (industrial facilities, chemical …

CONTINUE READING

Richard Lazarus Formally Notified the Supreme Court of Scalia’s Error

Letter Led to Change in Dissenting Opinion

Who knew that the U.S. Supreme Court has a formal process for notifying it about errors in Court opinions? Richard Lazarus, the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard and Supreme Court expert extraordinaire, that’s who.  Turns out that after he discovered Justice Scalia’s error about Whitman v. American Trucking (see my earlier post of …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING