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The Political Question Doctrine

PRINCIPLES OF CONSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, p. 217, James May, ed., American Bar Association, 2011

Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-33

26 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2011  

James May

Widener University Delaware Law School

Date Written: September 20, 2011

Abstract

This chapter addresses the extraordinary notion that the Constitution might insulate from federal judicial review some areas of environmental law, including even traditional common law tort causes of action. How? The answer lies in understanding the political question doctrine, under which a federal court concludes that a case is not justiciable because it is somehow textually or prudentially consigned to the elected branches of government. The doctrine's effect makes it particularly important to practitioners and to the very development of the law: A case dismissed under the political question doctrine ends without needing to reach the statutory, common law, or constitutional questions addressed with in this book. Moreover, pleadings, discovery, and motion practice are obviated, and the case is disposed of - merits aside - lock, stock, and barrel. Case closed.

Keywords: political question doctrine, environmental law, constitutional law

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

May, James, The Political Question Doctrine (September 20, 2011). PRINCIPLES OF CONSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, p. 217, James May, ed., American Bar Association, 2011; Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-33. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1931315

James May (Contact Author)

Widener University Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States

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