CourtSpeak: Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency
Global Warming Case (2006)

Decisions Read more from
Chapter The Roberts Court (2005–present)

Justice John Paul Stevens (majority): “In sum—at least according to petitioners’ uncontested affidavits—the rise in sea levels associated with global warming has already harmed and will continue to harm Massachusetts. The risk of catastrophic harm, though remote, is nevertheless real. That risk would be reduced to some extent if petitioners received the relief they seek. We therefore hold that petitioners have standing to challenge the EPA’s denial of their rulemaking petition.”

Chief Justice John Roberts (dissenting): “I would reject these challenges as nonjusticiable. Such a conclusion involves no judgment on whether global warming exists, what causes it, or the extent of the problem. Nor does it render petitioners without recourse. This Court’s standing jurisprudence simply recognizes that redress of grievances of the sort at issue here ‘is the function of Congress and the Chief Executive.’”


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