You might, before doing anything else, read this and learn about the way in which the courts have been packed to protect the corporate polluters…




The Judicial Branch of the federal government is responsible for interpreting and reviewing the country’s laws. The Supreme Court is the most powerful body of the Judicial Branch. About 8,000 cases are filed with the Supreme Court each year, but only about 80 are chosen to be heard and decided by the Court. The Supreme Court is the only court where the Justices make the decision whether or not to hear a case. Most often, a case makes it to the Supreme Court after the plaintiffs involved appeal the ruling of one of the US Courts of Appeal.

There are numerous cases weaving their way through the courts. Exxon Mobil, for example, is facing a wave of lawsuits driven in large part by revelations which began surfacing in 2015.  These revelations indicated that the climate crisis was not the result of blind error, or even willful ignorance, but rather calculated abuses of power.  Exxon had conducted scientific studies that showed the warming effect of carbon emissions and predicted the dire consequences of climate change, before spending millions on misinformation to derail regulation and solidify international dependence on fossil fuels. Massachusetts and New York have both sued Exxon for fraud.

Meanwhile, cities like San Francisco, New York City, Richmond and others have filed suits for damages from climate change against companies like Chevron, BP, Shell, and ConocoPhillips in addition to Exxon. Several high-profile cases challenging the expansion of oil pipelines are also being litigated.

And, then there is the landmark case of Juliana v. US, brought by 21 young people in 2015, which argues that the federal government’s duty to serve as a trustee of resources extends to the atmosphere, and that it had thus failed in that constitutional duty. A full and fascinating history of this litigation can be found here.

Just as many of these cases are winding their way through the courts, the makeup of the highest court in the land has changed dramatically. Following the death of renowned Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18, 2020, Trump filled her seat with Amy Coney Barrett on September 26th. Barrett promises to shift the court to the far right for decades to come and environmental organizations have already expressed concern that she will be favorable towards fossil fuel companies.

Most recently, on October 2, 2020, the Supreme Court agreed to review a Fourth Circuit ruling that a Baltimore suit — seeking to put energy giants like Chevron and ExxonMobil on the hook for climate related infrastructure damages — belonged in state court.

What Is the Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government? | History



The Lawfarm Climatechange scorecard

Climate Scores For Vault 100 Law Firms 1

U.S. Climate Change Litigation

Cases in the U.S. database are organized by type of claim and may be filtered by the principal laws they address, their filing years, and their jurisdictions. The database is also searchable by keyword. In…

Mapped: Climate change laws around the world

There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of global climate change laws since 1997, according to the most comprehensive database of relevant policy and legislation.

Congress and Climate Change

Federal efforts to address climate change are undertaken under laws, and with funding, approved by Congress. Like other complex economy-wide challenges, climate change touches on a wide array of interests. The stakes vary from sector…

Our Focus: Climate Change

Climate change is not a new challenge for CLF. We’ve been working to address its root causes for decades and have played a part in critical milestones to curb its progress. We helped design the…

Environmental Law 101: Climate Change

A short, but thorough, introduction from a leading environmental law think tank on climate change and what is being done to combat it through legal action and policy.

Federal Action on Climate

Given the far-reaching nature of the climate challenge, effective federal policy is needed to achieve deep, long-term reductions in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and to help strengthen climate resilience across the U.S. economy. Even in…

Judicial – Key resources – content to come

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Judge throws out Trump rule limiting what science EPA can use

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E.U. Proposes a Climate Law. Greta Thunberg Hears ‘Empty Words.’

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Republicans are making noises on climate action. Some say it’s just greenwashing

By Emily Holden  Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA   03/02/20  
Bills to meet environmental targets while feeding industry have the right pushing back and experts unconvinced

Judge voids nearly 1 million acres of oil and gas leases, saying Trump policy undercut public input

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The Climate-Change Lawsuit Debacle

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