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Justices Take up Trio of Pollution Decisions

06/25/2012 Daily Journal

Nossaman Partner Paul Weiland is quoted in the Daily Journal article "Justices Take up Trio of Pollution Decisions," about a group of pro-environment decisions by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the U.S. Supreme Court justices will consider as potential cases to hear next term.

The article notes that, under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the court has generally avoided environmental cases raising constitutional issues.  Mr. Weiland noted that this is in contrast with the court under Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, which was interested in environmental cases that dealt with the Constitution's Takings and Commerce clauses.

One of the cases the justices will consider hearing is an industry challenge to a California regulation requiring ships coming in or out of the state's ports to use cleaner-burning fuel up to 24 miles from shore.  If the court takes this case, it could rejuvenate the "dormant Commerce Clause" as a weapon against environmental regulation. 

Mr. Weiland points out that, "The point is it's not the dormant Commerce Clause, it's the Commerce Clause."

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