Yesterday the Supreme Court of the United States hear oral argument in BP p.l.c. v Mayor and City of Baltimore, the first climate nuisance case to make it to the Court since the 2011 unanimous drubbing the plaintiffs took in AEP v. Connecticut (an 8-0 decision, with the majority opinion — written by then-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — confessing something not permissible in certain circles today, “The Court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon- dioxide emissions and climate change.”).
The issue in the City of Baltimore argument was an esoteric jurisdictional one. CLW got no strong senses about the leaning of the eight Justices taking part (Justice Alito recused himself), but Justice Kavanaugh’s questioning seemed to reflect he had read the facts laid out in briefs like Energy Policy Advocates’ amicus brief, when probing each party why they want to be in, or steer far away from, federal court.
The answer, as EPA’s brief made clear by quoting various principals, is the climate litigation industry see their chance for the payoff in state court, and federal courts have made clear that this effort to impose or coerce federal policy is not the courts’ job.