The Record of the Roberts Court in Environmental Cases: Pro-Business or Pro-Government?


Drawing upon a preliminary analysis of the Roberts Court’s decisions in environmental cases prepared for a January 29 Santa Clara Law Review symposium on “Big Business and the Roberts Court,” this essay assesses claims that the Roberts Court has shown itself to be particularly “pro-business” and hostile to environmental protection. A review of all eighteen environmental cases decided by the Roberts Court in its first four years finds little evidence of any “pro-business” inclination. Victories for business interests are balanced by losses. The Roberts Court’s environmental decisions may provide evidence for something else, however: a tendency to side with government agencies and state interests. While there is little evidence the Roberts Court is “pro-business” or “anti-environment,” there is some evidence to suggest it is “pro-government.”


Roberts Court, United States Supreme Court, Environmental Law, Business Interests, Government Interests

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Engage: The Journal of the Federalist Society’s Practice Groups

Publication Information

11 (1) Engage: The Journal of the Federalist Society’s Practice Groups 31 (2010)

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COinS Jonathan H. Adler Faculty Bio