The Rule of Five Guys

University of Michigan Law Review, Forthcoming

25 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2020

Date Written: August 13, 2020


In "The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court" (Belknap Press 2020), Professor Richard Lazarus chronicles the litigation in Massachusetts v. EPA, beginning with the original citizens' petition asking EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles and culminating in the Supreme Court's decision and its aftermath. The bulk of the book is devoted to the legal tactics and personal conflicts of several of the attorneys who participated in the case, of whom I am one. In this review, I find that Lazarus's reverence for the Supreme Court, and apparent reluctance to criticize it, weaken his treatment of the legal issues in Massachusetts as he fails to grapple with the portent of the strongly worded dissents and the likely fate of these issues on today's more conservative Court. I also find that the book's rendering of the human dramas of the lawyers in Massachusetts reenacts and amplifies the gender dynamics I sensed in that litigation.

Keywords: Supreme Court, Climate Change, Administrative Law, Massachusetts v. EPA

Suggested Citation

Heinzerling, Lisa, The Rule of Five Guys (August 13, 2020). University of Michigan Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Lisa Heinzerling (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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