Judges’ interpretations of the law have a significant impact on climate policy
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Judges’ interpretations of the law have a significant impact on climate policy

Presidents’ environmental regulations often face criticism from courts, shaping policies on climate, water, air and wildlife.

Nathan Rott reports Radioactive.


In short:

  • Environmental regulations, regardless of the president, are frequently challenged in court.
  • The final word often belongs to lower federal courts, where thousands of decisions are made.
  • Recent judicial appointments have placed greater emphasis on party affiliation than experience, which has influenced courts’ decisions on environmental matters.

Key Quote:

“I think we need a Supreme Court, appellate courts, first-instance courts that respect the law and facts and avoid these types of activist tendencies.”

—DJ Gerken, President, Southern Environmental Law Center

Why is this important:

Judicial rulings shape the effectiveness of environmental laws, affecting the government’s ability to address critical climate issues. Increased judicial skepticism could undermine efforts to manage emerging environmental challenges.