U.S. Supreme Court
Amy Coney Barrett could shift how the Supreme Court approaches environmental regulations. Policymakers should prepare accordingly
By Ann Carlson, Amelia Keyes, Ben Harris and Dallas Burtraw (Cross-posted at Resources for The Future’s blog The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has catapulted the Supreme Court back onto the front pages of newspapers around the country. Though press attention has focused on …CONTINUE READING
How to Argue Cases to Conservative Judges
Textualism is the dominant method of interpreting statutes among conservative judges. It purports to base interpretation on the “ordinary meaning” of the statutory language. This approach ignores traditional tools of statutory interpretation like considering what was actually said in Congress. Ignoring what Congress actually intended seems odd to me. Still, lawyers have to make arguments …CONTINUE READING
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide a nuanced issue of procedural law that could create a loophole which would dramatically expand the reach of federal appellate jurisdiction and prevent climate plaintiffs from suing oil companies in state court.
As recent extreme heat waves, hurricanes, and wildfires across the country have elevated public concern about the widespread and harmful effects of climate change, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari this month in a climate liability case called BP P.L.C. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. In short, the City of Baltimore sued a …CONTINUE READING
Her mentor was Scalia, but her style is more like Souter.
With the help of my research assistant, I’ve collected cases by Judge Barrett dealing with standing issues and deference to administrative agencies. Both topics are very relevant to the environment.al crisis. You really can’t draw firm conclusions about her views on these doctrines, but you can draw conclusions about her style. She sticks close to …CONTINUE READING
A 6-3 conservative court is bad news for climate action. Here’s a threat assessment.
With Romney’s announcement this morning that he would support consideration of a nominee before the election, it now seems virtually certain that Trump will be able to appoint a sixth conservative Justice. How will that affect future climate policy? Here is a preliminary threat assessment. The answer varies, depending on what policies we’re talking about. …CONTINUE READING
A new appointment would make Justice Kavanaugh the swing voter. Here’s what that would mean for environmental law.
A new appointment by Trump would shift the Supreme Court well to the right, making Brett Kavanaugh the swing voter in many cases. Kavanaugh has clear views about the powers of agencies like EPA. With him as the swing voter, the main strategy used by Obama to make environmental progress would be off limits for …CONTINUE READING
Whatever happens to the White House, control of the Senate will be crucial.
Today, I’ll look at how key races have shifted in the past six month, and why this matters for environmental law. We’ve just finished the Democratic Convention, and the GOP Convention is underway. But control of the Senate may be equally important.It’s crucial to any president’s legislative agenda and judicial appointments. Senate control gives an …CONTINUE READING
The courts have failed to enforce a core requirement of NEPA. That leaves the White House.
The Democrats have adopted an ambitious platform for environmental protection, full of innovative legislative initiatives. Here’s another idea Biden and Harris should consider, making use of the oldest of the modern environmental statutes. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is best known for requiring environmental impact statements. While they have enforced that requirement, the courts …CONTINUE READING
When does public health override individual rights?
Lockdowns and social distancing impinge on activities that are protected by the Constitution. That’s been true in many states of church services and in some states of abortion. When the cases have come before they courts, they have often turned to a 1905 Supreme Court case decision, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, which upheld a state law …CONTINUE READING
Blanket calls for D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood miss a critical difference: D.C. is the American capital. Puerto Rico is an American colony.
“D.C. and Puerto Rico should be states. Pass it on.” With passage of the D.C. statehood bill in the House of Representatives last Friday, variations on this statement have been gaining traction as a liberal rallying cry. Because they are not states, neither D.C. nor Puerto Rico have voting representation in Congress. The votes of …CONTINUE READING