Global warming as political question

by Walter Olson on April 20, 2011

I’ve got a new post up at Cato at Liberty explaining why the American Electric Power v. Connecticut case — which was heard in oral argument yesterday before the Supreme Court — should be tossed for stating a fundamentally political rather than judicial claim.

More: Adam Chandler at SCOTUSBlog rounds up reporting on the “chilly reception” the case got yesterday before the high court and the “uphill battle” it may face in convincing the justices. As Andrew Grossman recounts, Peter Keisler had a very good day before the court representing the utilities, with Justices Kennedy and Breyer both signaling disapproval of plaintiff arguments, raising the likelihood of a lopsided or even unanimous defense victory. And Jonathan Adler recounts skeptical questioning from Kagan and Ginsburg as well. (& ShopFloor, Trevor Burrus @ Cato)

{ 2 comments }

1 John David Galt 04.21.11 at 12:34 pm

Global warming may be a hot political controversy, but it is certainly a question of fact and not opinion; therefore, I think your approach is misguided.

But it would be nice if there were a precedent you could use to force a court to hand off questions of science to qualified scientists; not to mention a “Sarbanes-Oxley for tax funded science reports” that could be used to prosecute those involved in the ClimateGate scam and purge the institutions that whitewashed it after it was revealed.

2 Walter Olson 04.21.11 at 12:49 pm

>Global warming may be a hot political controversy, but it is certainly a question of fact and not opinion; therefore, I think your approach is misguided.

Not clear what your objection is here. The distinction between political questions and traditionally cognizable judicial questions does not track any line between fact and opinion.

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