Professor Laurence Tribe penned an op-ed for the Boston Globe this past Saturday, Take it to Climate Court? in which he made the common-sense case that impossibly complex issues like how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions on a global scale don’t belong in court. He states succinctly:
The determination of which economic sectors should reduce their carbon footprint and by what amount, as well as how the burden of those changes should be allocated within each sector, would entail uniquely complex tradeoffs, especially when one considers that any steps the United States takes might be counterproductive unless they are coordinated with steps we can induce other nations to take. If ever there was a task ill-suited to the institutional capacities of the federal or state judiciary, this is it.
If we could indulge in a bit of self-promotion: Professor Tribe elaborated on his views on climate change regulation being a poor fit for the federal courts last year in a Washington Legal Foundation Working Paper – To Hot for Courts to Handle: Fuel Temperatures, Global Warming, and the Political Question Doctrine – which he co-authored with attorney Tristan Duncan and then-Harvard Law School JD candidate Joshua Branson. We are pleased he is once again lending his considerable voice to the debate now that the AEP case is before the Justices.