Judges’ Recusals End Katrina Greenhouse-Gas Suit

Posted on Jun 4, 2010 in Local Issues

In April of 2007, the Massachusetts v EPA case ended with the Supreme Court acknowledging the man made phenomenon, Global Warming. This helped inspire several Mississippi Coast residents to file suit against numerous energy companies for their contribution to Katrina by polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse-gases. In October, a three-judge panel gave the plaintiffs the right to pursue an appeal for an earlier ruling. But when the case reached the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, it could not be tried in en banc fashion due to the recusals of several judges. The conflicting interests of these judges were most probably a result of connections with the defendants in previous cases, or current investments. With only eight judges left to rule on the case, it became erroneous due to an even number, which lead to the clerk dismissing the appeal.

The only chance now for the plaintiffs is to make an appeal directly to the Supreme Court. With the help of three judges, Eugene Davis, Carl Stewart and James Dennis, and their dissents about the dismissal, these Mississippians might have a chance in the Supreme Court, but that does not mean they will be victorious in the end.

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