A 6-3 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in a Texas-based case offers a reprieve for small refineries seeking “hardship exemptions” from increasingly strict EPA renewable fuel standards. But with a change in presidential administrations, the relief may prove short-lived. Lawbook Supreme Court correspondent Tony Mauro explains.
Energy Industry Week at SCOTUS
Two important energy cases are being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this coming week. One involves hardship exemptions; the other, the use of eminent domain to build energy pipelines. Both are being closely watched by an anxious industry. The Lawbook’s Tony Mauro reports from Washington D.C.
Ramsey Clark (1927-2021) —A U.S. Attorney General, a Dallas lawyer, and “a pure human being”
Before he became U.S. Attorney General and long before he became a controversial champion of the rule of law, Ramsey Clark was a lawyer for his family’s Texas-based firm. Clark died last week at age 93, and The Lawbook’s Tony Mauro looks at those Texas roots.
Ex-Texas Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins Heads to Gibson Dunn
Kyle Hawkins, who argued four cases to the U.S. Supreme Court as Texas solicitor general, started a new job today as a partner in Texas for Gibson Dunn. A former clerk to Justice Samuel Alito Jr., Hawkins plans to boost the firm’s litigation and appellate presence in Houston.
Fifth Circuit at the Center of Controversy Over Immunity for Law Enforcement Officers
An unusual concurrence issued by U.S. Circuit Judge Don Willett on March 9 has thrust the federal Fifth Circuit back into the controversy over granting immunity to law enforcement officials at both the state and federal levels – an issue heading back to the U.S. Supreme Court. Willett wrote, “A written constitution is mere meringue when rights can be violated with nonchalance.”
Fort Worth Episcopal Property Dispute May Be Heading to SCOTUS…Again
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider whether it will weigh in on issues raised by the long-running $100 million property dispute between factions of the Episcopal Church in Fort Worth. Tony Mauro of The Lawbook is watching the case.
Future of Pipeline Projects at Stake in New Case Before U.S. Supreme Court
Invoking the seldom-cited Eleventh Amendment, the U.S. Third Circuit ruled that a law allowing the use of federal powers of eminent domain could not be used against property owned by state governments. The ruling will likely disrupt a number of natural gas pipeline projects aimed at bolstering the nation’s energy infrastructure. Tony Mauro explains the stakes.
UT Law’s Steve Vladeck: Blocked by Ken Paxton’s Twitter feed, but Broadcast Nationwide
He’s been blocked from Ken Paxton’s Twitter feed and gained a “9” from Roomrater for the memorabilia-laden background he displays for his Zoom interviews on CNN. But UT Professor Stephen Vladeck is gaining notice, both as a scholar and as a high-profile commentator on the rule and the role of law. The Lawbook’s Tony Mauro has a profile.
SCOTUS to Determine Fate of Climate Change Suits in State Courts
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Jan. 19 in a climate change case involving BP that has drawn strong interest from the oil and gas industry in its ongoing efforts to keep climate litigation in federal courts, rather than state and local courts. The cases claim that cities should be compensated because emissions caused major damages.
Texas Appellate Power Couple Judge Jim and Allyson Ho: How They Met Rests with Textualism
Judge Jim Ho is the first Asian American and only immigrant on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a child, he learned English from Sesame Street and as a judge he has received threatening racist letters. He’s a hardcore conservative who has joined liberals on the appellate court multiple times, including a recent decision that has energy executives outraged. His wife, Allyson Ho has argued multiple cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, played the harp for the justices when she clerked for Justice O’Connor and helped Justice Amy Barrett through the confirmation process. Despite young twins at home and a hurricane that destroyed their house, Theodore Boutrous Jr. says they are “the ultimate legal power couple” getting things done.