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Business, the Environment, and the Roberts Court: A Preliminary Assessment


Jonathan H. Adler


Case Western Reserve University School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

March 1, 2009

Santa Clara Law Review, Vol. 49, p. 101, 2009
Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-6

Abstract:     
The Roberts Court has developed a reputation for being a "pro-business" court. This article, prepared for the 2009 Santa Clara Law Review symposium on "Big Business and the Roberts Court," seeks to offer a preliminary assessment of this claim with reference to the Roberts Court's decisions in environmental cases. Reviewing the environmental law decisions of the Roberts Court to date reveals no evidence of a "pro-business" bias. This does not disprove the claim that the Roberts Court is pro-business, but it may suggest the need to refine conventional descriptions of the Roberts Court. The lack of a pro-business orientation in the environmental context does not mean the Court is not more business-friendly in other areas, such as preemption or securities litigation. Yet while there are no signs of a business-friendly approach to environmental cases, there are signs the Court tends to side with the government. Thus far in the Roberts Court, governmental interests have prevailed in environmental cases with greater frequency than business interests. This is only a preliminary assessment because the Roberts Court has only decided fourteen environmental law cases to date, and several more are pending. Nonetheless, if this pattern continues, then whether the Court hands down business-friendly decisions may depend on whether the political branches are or continue to be receptive to business interests.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: Robert's Court, United States Supreme Court, Environmental Law, Business Interests, Government Interests

JEL Classification: K23, K32

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Date posted: March 9, 2009 ; Last revised: April 13, 2012

Suggested Citation

Adler, Jonathan H., Business, the Environment, and the Roberts Court: A Preliminary Assessment (March 1, 2009). Santa Clara Law Review, Vol. 49, p. 101, 2009; Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-6. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1351906

Contact Information

Jonathan H. Adler (Contact Author)
Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )
11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-2535 (Phone)
216-368-2086 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.jhadler.net
PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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