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The New York Times
Appeals Court Hears Challenge to Obama’s Climate Change Rules
The nation’s second-most powerful court grappled Tuesday with the intractable and potentially catastrophic problem of climate change, weighing whether constitutional questions surrounding President Obama’s climate change regulations should trump the moral obligations of upholding a plan to curb global warming...Among the most prominent opponents of the plan is Laurence H. Tribe
, a constitutional authority who was Mr. Obama’s mentor at Harvard Law School. “This action by the E.P.A. is impermissible,” Mr. Tribe told the court. Judge David Tatel, an Obama appointee, appeared to disagree. He likened the rule to the Americans With Disabilities Act, in which the federal government set standards for states to make public spaces accessible to people with disabilities, and supplied states with federally devised plans for doing so. Tribe pushed back at that comparison. “Imagine if Congress had been unable to pass the Americans With Disabilities Act, as it was unable to pass cap-and-trade, and if instead that same agency told states they had to each pass a mini-A.D.A., and said if they don’t, we will use executive authority to put it into place?” he said.
Obama’s Clean Power Plan Faces Challenges in Court (audio)
A case against President Obama's Clean Power Plan will be heard today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit — 28 mostly Republican states, along with over 100 companies and labor and industry groups, will be fighting to overturn the plan, which was stayed by the Supreme Court back in February. Jody Freeman
joins The Takeaway to explain what's next for this case. She's a professor at Harvard Law School and director of the Harvard Law School environmental law program. She also served as the White House counselor for energy and climate change from 2009 to 2010.
The New York Times
The Risks of Suing the Saudis for 9/11
The Senate and the House are expected to vote this week on whether to override President Obama’s veto of a bill that would allow families of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role it had in the terrorist operations. The lawmakers should let the veto stand. The legislation, called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, would expand an exception to sovereign immunity, the legal principle that protects foreign countries and their diplomats from lawsuits in the American legal system. While the aim — to give the families their day in court — is compassionate, the bill complicates the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia and could expose the American government, citizens and corporations to lawsuits abroad. Moreover, legal experts like Stephen Vladeck of the University of Texas School of Law and Jack Goldsmith
of Harvard Law School doubt that the legislation would actually achieve its goal.
The Real Reason So Many Americans Oppose Immigration
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein.
Why do so many Americans oppose immigration, and why has it become a central issue in the presidential campaign? A growing body of research suggests that the answer isn't economic anxiety, or concerns about public spending, or even general nationalism. It is more specific -- and more disturbing. The question of what drives anti-immigrant sentiment is put in sharp relief by an extensive report released last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report finds that immigration has positive effects on economic growth -- and doesn't hurt the employment or wages of native-born workers.
Why Nobody’s Talking About the Supreme Court
An op-ed by Noah Feldman.
The U.S. Supreme Court didn’t come up Monday in the first presidential debate, and so far, it hasn’t been an important campaign issue. Given the unprecedented vacancy during an election season, that seems weird. But there is an explanation: The election’s consequences for the court are asymmetrical for the two political parties. If the Democrat, Hillary Clinton, is elected, it will change the court’s balance, either through the confirmation of President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, in the lame-duck session or with the appointment of Garland or another liberal after she takes office. If the Republican, Donald Trump, is elected, all he can do is replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia with another conservative. That won’t change the court’s political balance.
The Washington Post
Appeals court considers Obama’s climate change plan
President Obama’s signature effort to combat global warming was alternately lauded as a reasonable attempt to move the nation toward cleaner energy sources and faulted as an unconstitutional, job-killing power grab during seven hours of vigorous legal arguments Tuesday....Laurence H. Tribe
, a Harvard law professor and former teacher of President Obama, argued against the plan on behalf of Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal company. Tribe said the EPA is inappropriately stepping in where Congress has failed to act on climate change. Doing so created fundamental concerns about overreach by the executive branch, he said. “There’s a reason 27 states are on the petitioners’ side and 19 are on the other,” Tribe asserted.