Readers in the Washington, DC area in the coming week might be interested in two great events.
On Thursday, November 1 starting at noon, CRC Executive Director Doug Kendall will be speaking at an event at the George Washington University Law School titled "Climate Change and the Constitution: Global Warming Litigation Heats Up." Sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute, as well as the National Association of Environmental Law Societies and its DC-area chapters, the event will focus on many of topics that we've been covering here at Warming Law:
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s blockbuster decision this year in Massachusetts v. EPA, new judicial rulings grappling with climate change have emerged from federal district courts around the country....Some courts have now dismissed nuisance lawsuits under the political question doctrine (NY, CA, MS) and on standing grounds (MS), while another court has rejected claims by industry that Vermont’s new greenhouse gas regulation is preempted by the foreign policy prerogatives of the federal government and by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. More climate change rulings are expected, with all of this litigation only just beginning to work its way through the federal judiciary. What does it all mean? Where is climate change case law headed?
Doug will be on the afternoon's second panel, which focuses on questions of statutory and foreign-policy preemption affecting state efforts to innovate. He will be joined on stage by Kevin Leske, a Vermont Assistant Attorney General involved in that state's recent court victory, and attorney Raymond Ludwizewski of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, who is on the legal team representing the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM) in the clean cars lawsuits (we recently noted AIAM's aggressive legal posture in the California lawsuit). Expect a lively and informative discussion!
Thursday afternoon will also see a discussion of the upcoming Supreme Court case, Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., hosted by the American Constitution Society. The panel will debate the case and preview oral arguments (coming up on December 4), and further address the case's broader relevance to preemption doctrine. We've already offerred our own thoughts on the case and on the outlook for oral arguments, and will certainly be monitoring this discussion closely.
Riegel is so far the most important environmental case of this term, even if the focus directly (and on this panel) is on the public health and safety arena; those unable to attend (or attending the ELI event) should certainly check back with ACS for information on a webcast and/or event video.