With Congress beset with political gridlock, most important issues of environmental law now are decided in the courts. No court has more influence over the shape of federal environmental law than the U.S. Supreme Court. This presentation will discuss the wide variety of issues of environmental law that have confronted the Supreme Court in recent years and the type of environmental cases likely to come before the Court in the future.
Due to Justice Ginsburg’s untimely death last September, President Trump was able to add three Justices to the Court who are highly skeptical of environmental regulation. He also appointed hundreds of judges to the lower federal courts. This presentation will review the implications of a decidedly more conservative federal judiciary for the future of U.S. environmental law. It will examine how a more conservative Supreme Court may change doctrines of deference to administrative agencies, standing to sue, private property rights, congressional power to protect the environment, and the ability of Congress to delegate regulatory decisions to administrative agencies.