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)
Having agreed to hear a different global warming case this term, the Supreme Court has declined to review the dismissal of a case blaming thirty energy companies (via greenhouse gas emissions) for Hurricane Katrina damage. [NOLA.com, earlier here and here] The case had reached a curious procedural posture following the recusal of half the judges on the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. My Cato colleague Ilya Shapiro has details on that and other cases that notably won’t be appearing on the Supreme Court’s docket this term.
And a choice quote (New York Times via Taranto) on how the legal system disposes of it all:
“If the administration gets it wrong, we’re looking at years of litigation, legislation and public and business outcry,” said a senior administration official who asked not to be identified so as not to provide an easy target for the incoming Republicans. “If we get it right, we’re facing the same thing.”
Not a satire: a study suggests ditching school choice would reduce carbon emissions from bus rides [Caleb Brown]
Asking M.D.s to lecture their patients on the hazards of climate change. [Popehat, Steyn/NRO]
USA Today on the Fifth Circuit’s recent ruling on a Katrina case, Comer v. Murphy Oil. More on the case at Point of Law here, here, and here.
A Second Circuit panel, reversing the district court judge, says a suit against utilities can go forward characterizing carbon dioxide as a nuisance. [American Lawyer, Point of Law first, second, third posts]
“The threat of global warming is so great that campaigners were justified in causing more than £35,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station, a jury decided yesterday. In a verdict that will have shocked ministers and energy companies the jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage.” (Michael McCarthy, Independent (U.K.), Sept. 11).
Attorneys Thomas R. Bender, Richard O. Faulk, and John S. Gray analyze the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruling in the lead paint case, detailing the history of the case and note the implications for other public-nuisance suits in the global warming and mortgage foreclosure fields.