Supreme Court Takes a Pass on Minnesota Climate Change Case

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Today the Supreme Court denied certiorari in American Petroleum Institute v. Minnesota, in which energy companies were seeking to remove state-law claims against energy companies from state to federal court. Thus climate change is not returning to the Supreme Court (at least not yet).

For reasons I explained last month (and reiterated here), the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari was totally warranted. The energy companies’ arguments are largely based upon the claim that climate-change-based tort claims necessarily implicate federal law, and are ultimately preempted. As I have explained at length, and has been recognized by virtually every circuit court judge to hear such claims (most recently by a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit), that is just not so. And absent a circuit split, there was simply no reason to take this case (though other climate-related cases may find themselves on the Court’s orders docket in due course).

As noted on the orders list, one justice—Justice Kavanaugh—would have granted the petition for certiorari. As I have noted before, Justice Kavanaugh has repeatedly indicated an interest in hearing cases that did not interest his colleagues.

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