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Access to Courts after Massachusetts v. EPA: Who Will Be Left Standing?

December 13, 2006

Co-sponsored by
The Environmental Law Institute and
The ABA, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources

With oral argument in the case of Massachusetts v. EPA focusing largely on the issue of plaintiffs’ standing to bring suit, the possibility of a standing ruling by the new Supreme Court creates serious implications for environmental and non-environmental cases alike. In this Dec. 13th seminar, prominent attorneys in the environmental and citizen advocacy fields discussed standing in environmental cases, as well as the ramifications of any new case law on standing for plaintiffs in civil rights, access to justice, and consumer rights cases. Topics covered included the Supreme Court’s treatment of the standing inquiry in Massachusetts and the relevance of a standing ruling for other global warming cases; the distinction between factual assertions on the merits versus the standing inquiry; the relationship between redressability and administrative actions on remand; and linkages between standing requirements for environmental cases and other plaintiffs’ rights cases.

Moderator:
Jamison Colburn
, Assistant Professor, Western New England College of Law and Chair of the ABA’s Constitutional Law Committee, part of the Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER)

Panelists:
William W. Buzbee
, Professor of Law and Director of the Emory Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program
Jeffrey B. Clark, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Scott L. Nelson, Public Citizen Litigation Group