U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Declares Juries Responsible for Assessing Criminal Fines in Environmental Enforcement Cases

The Supreme Court on Thursday handed down its third and final environmental law decision of its current Term. (The case, Southern Union v. United States, is also significant for being the first criminal environmental enforcement case in the Court’s history)  In a 6-3 decision, the justices ruled that criminal penalties sought by federal prosecutors in …

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In the Supreme Court’s Crosshairs: the Ninth Circuit’s Environmental Jurisprudence

All eyes will be on the U.S. Supreme Court this week, as the justices conclude their current Term and, among other things, issue their long-awaited decision(s) on the constitutionality of the newly-enacted federal healthcare law. But the Supreme Court also has some other, key decisions to make as to whether to take up four controversial environmental cases from …

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U.S. Supreme Court Justices Are on USEPA’s Case

You can’t blame the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of late for feeling it’s under siege. All of the current Republican presidential candidates are regularly excoriating EPA on the campaign trail, and Congress has conducted oversight hearings and threatened all sorts of legislative action designed to clip EPA’s regulatory wings. Now the U.S. Supreme Court appears …

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Supreme Court Grants Review in Criminal Environmental Enforcement Case

The U.S. Supreme Court is obviously interested in environmental enforcement, or at least the legal issues arising out of environmental enforcement cases. Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in a second environmental enforcement case it will hear and decide in its current Term. Southern Union Co v. United States, No. 11-94. This follows the justices’ …

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More on Sackett v. EPA

As Rick notes below, the Supreme Court has just agreed to hear a case arising from enforcement of the wetlands permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act, Sackett v. EPA (the link is to the 9th Circuit’s opinion). SCOTUSblog has links to the briefs at the cert stage. Rick explained that the genesis of this …

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Supreme Court Rejects States’ Climate Change Nuisance Lawsuit

The Supreme Court today issued its long-awaited decision in an important climate change case, American Electric Power v. Connecticut.  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/10-174.pdf   As expected, the Court rejected a public nuisance lawsuit that a coalition of states and private land trusts had brought against the owners of Midwestern coal-fired power plants, challenging their massive greenhouse gas emissions on …

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Clarence Thomas: Nino Scalia Should Resign

Well, not quite.  But just look at the quotes. Clarence Thomas, in a recent speech to Georgia attorneys: “This job is a humbling job,” he said. “It’s the end of the food chain. And some people can do it, and some can’t. But what it teaches you is that you don’t have all the answers. The …

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Damage Control for the States: Predicting the Outcome in AEP v. Connecticut

Yesterday I previewed Tuesday’s oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court’s American Electric Power v. Connecticut case, and two of my Legal Planet colleagues have already posted comments on certain aspects of those arguments. But let me cast discretion to the wind and predict the outcome of the case. Actually, it’s not that difficult a …

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AEP v. Connecticut oral argument

This morning, the Supreme Court heard 75 minutes of oral argument in AEP v. Connecticut. My fellow blogger, Richard Frank, already gave us a preview of the arguments.  SCOTUSblog has a nice recap of what happened this morning. I would just like to highlight a few points from the oral argument. First, the Justices seem …

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Previewing the Supreme Court Oral Arguments in AEP v. Connecticut

On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the only environmental case on its docket this Term: American Electric Power v. Connecticut. At issue in this critically important climate change case is whether a coalition of states, New York City and several private land trusts can pursue a federal common law nuisance claim …

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