- Professor Stephen Hayward, Pepperdine Law
- Dr. John Stolz, Duquesne University
On January 9, 2015, the Nebraska Supreme Court held that the law dictating the potential path of the Keystone XL pipeline through the state was not unconstitutional. President Obama previously cited the pending lawsuit as a reason to delay making an approval decision on the controversial pipeline project. Nebraska’s former Deputy Attorney General Katie Spohn argued the case, and she joined a Teleforum conference call to discuss the decision and potential upcoming Keystone XL litigation.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required by the 1978 Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act to submit all proposed regulations to the federal Science Advisory Board (SAB) for peer review. However, in 2011 the EPA issued regulations establishing greenhouse gas emission and fuel efficiency standards both for cars and for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (the Car Rule and the Truck Rule) without submitting either proposed rule to the SAB. On Friday, January 9, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in a consolidated case that will determine the legal remedy for these alleged violations of administrative procedure. Ted Hadzi-Antich of the Pacific Legal Foundation argued the case before the D.C. Circuit Court, and he discussed the case and the oral arguments on a live Teleforum conference call.
On June 2, 2014, the Obama Administration took action that would require a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions at fossil fuel-burning power plants by 2030. Some industry representatives and state officials contend that the goals are unattainable, and the required shut-down of even a fraction of the coal-burning power plants required will put several power grids at risk, particularly during the upcoming winter season. Regulators site cost-benefit claims of seven to one – that is, for every dollar expended on compliance, seven dollars will be saved in other areas, largely health care. Are the rules likely to be finalized? If so, how must such reductions be accomplished? How much latitude will states and private actors have in meeting the new requirements?
The Federalist Society's Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Groups presented this panel on "Do the EPA’s CO2 Rules Go Too Far?" on Saturday, November 15, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
Putting aside criminal cases, the stakes for all sides are perhaps never higher than in a class action case – mere certification of a class can increase the pressure to settle exponentially. But, of course, the class must be properly composed in order to be certified. In the recently-decided Wal-Mart v. Dukes case, the U.S. Supreme Court revisited some of the basic requirements for certification of a class of plaintiffs, including commonality. Other requirements of Rule 23 certification may surface in ongoing litigation stemming from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, where defense attorneys are arguing, among other things, that the settlement agreement is being administered and interpreted overly broadly to include numerous class members who have not suffered any injury caused by BP. Our experts will discuss recent developments in class action litigation, including a pending petition for cert in the BP case. The Federalist Society presented this panel on September 4, 2014.
National Press Club