Climate Change Goes to Court

Date of Event



Last spring, the Supreme Court curtailed the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector in West Virginia v. EPA. Additional lawsuits filed by state attorneys general and conservative groups challenge a wide swath of the Biden Administration's climate policy initiatives, including the use of the "social cost of carbon." At the same time, state and local governments have filed suit against fossil fuel companies in state courts, seeking compensation for local climate change impacts and seeking to hold such companies responsible for the consequences of consuming their products. These cases have been consumed by procedural wrangling, but could also end up in the Supreme Court soon. Join us for a discussion of these legal developments and how what happens in court will affect efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.

Speaker Bio

Jonathan H. Adler is the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and the founding Director of the Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he teaches courses in environmental, administrative and constitutional law.

Professor Adler is the author or editor of seven books, including Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane (Brookings Institution Press, 2020), Business and the Roberts Court (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Rebuilding the Ark: New Perspectives on Endangered Species Act Reform (AEI Press, 2011).

His articles have appeared in publications ranging from the Harvard Environmental Law Review and Yale Journal on Regulation to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. He has testified before Congress a dozen times, and his work has been cited in the U.S. Supreme Court. A 2021 study identified Professor Adler as the fifth most cited legal academic in administrative and environmental law from 2016 to 2020.

Professor Adler is a contributing editor to National Review Online and a regular contributor to the popular legal blog, The Volokh Conspiracy. A regular commentator on constitutional and regulatory issues, he has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, ranging from the PBS Newshour and National Public Radio to the Fox News Channel and Entertainment Tonight. Professor Adler is also a senior fellow at the Property & Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana.

In 2004, Professor Adler received the Paul M. Bator Award, given annually by the Federalist Society for Law and Policy Studies to an academic under 40 for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and commitment to students. In 2007, the Case Western Reserve University Law Alumni Association awarded Adler their annual "Distinguished Teacher Award." In 2018, Professor Adler was elected to membership of the American Law Institute.

Prior to joining the faculty at Case Western Reserve, Adler clerked for the Honorable David B. Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. From 1991 to 2000, Adler worked at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market research and advocacy group in Washington, D.C., where he directed CEI's environmental studies program. He holds a BA magna cum laude from Yale University and a JD summa cum laude from the George Mason University School of Law.

Lecture Series

Coleman P. Burke Center for Environmental Law

Subject Headings

West Virginia v. EPA; climate change litigation; environmental law; greenhouse gas emissions litigation

Document Type