UPDATE, Monday 10/22, 11:45 AM: Well, perhaps it wasn't that busy of a weekend, as an order by Judge Ishii issued on October 16-- but not available until this weekend-- postponed today's hearing until November 19 so that he can fully consider additional materials submitted by the plaintiffs the previous week. Additional analysis will be forthcoming...
It will be a busy afternoon Monday in court in Fresno, as federal Judge Anthony Ishii of the Eastern District of California hears arguments on important pending motions in a challenge brought by the auto industry to California's greenhouse gas auto emissions law. Judge Ishii will have to sort through hundreds of pages of briefing (some of which we've linked to here) and a rift that has developed between the industry plaintiffs.
The position of the State of California and the environmental defendants is simple: after Mass. v. EPA, if not before, industry has no case. In legalese, they argue there are "no triable issue for this Court " and that "judgment should be entered in Defendants' favor." Defendant's argue that Judge Ishii should follow the comprehensive legal analysis of Vermont Judge William Sessions and dismiss.
The plaintiff's are having a harder time figuring out what they want. The original plaintiffs, led by Central Valley Chrysler-Jeep, have simply opposed the Defendants' motion for judgment and seek a trial on their claims. Plaintiff-Intervenor, The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, has taken a more agressive posture, arguing that they are entitled to summary judgment without a trial.
Looming over these procedings of course, is the EPA's decision on California's waiver request and the lawsuit promised by California Governor Arnold Schwartznegger to force EPA's hand, which also could be filed on Monday. It's looking like a busy weekend for lawyers in the California Attorney General's office.