On May 17, the Supreme Court issued a 7 to 1 opinion holding that federal courts of appeals can and should review all grounds for “removing” (i.e., transferring) climate-change litigation from state court to federal court. The Atlantic Legal Foundation filed an amicus brief in the case, BP p.l.c. v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore, arguing that climate change-related damages suits brought by state or local governments against fossil fuel energy companies belong, if anywhere, in federal court, not state court. ALF Executive Vice President & General Counsel Larry Ebner predicted that even though the decision is limited to a procedural issue, it “ultimately will have a major impact on climate-change litigation.”
Inside Climate News quoted Ebner in a feature article about the Court’s decision:
The Supreme Court’s decision allows the industry to assert a number of arguments for federal jurisdiction, said Lawrence Ebner, executive vice president and general counsel for the Atlantic Legal Foundation, an organization that ﬁled an amicus brief supporting the industry.
“The opinion makes it clear that federal courts of appeals will be able to review all grounds for removing climate-change suits from state to federal court,” he said. “
As a result, it will be more diﬃcult for climate change plaintiﬀs to avoid litigating their claims in federal court, even if initially ﬁled in state court and purport to be limited to state-law claims.”
“Climate-change litigation implicates the need for sound science — not partisan, opportunistic, or alarmist theories about ‘man-made’ global warming,” Ebner said. The Atlantic Legal Foundation long has been one of the nation’s foremost advocates for sound science in judicial and regulatory proceedings.