Attorney General Paxton filed an amicus brief to ward off current and future efforts by local and state governments to impose radical environmental policies through the court system. Filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the Indiana-led amicus brief opposes the District of Columbia’s attempts to use local law to seek relief for the alleged harms of global climate change.  

The U.S. Supreme Court has established that federal courts have original jurisdiction in cases concerning transboundary emissions and global climate change, not local or state courts. Allowing local and state governments to penalize companies for the purported impacts of climate change that occur beyond their borders irreconcilably conflicts with the design of our nation’s legal system and violates the federalism-based organizing principles of our system of government. By trying to force energy producers to comply with burdensome regulations outside its jurisdiction, the local government of our nation’s capital seeks to unduly extend its authority where it simply does not exist.  

The amicus brief states: “States have a profound interest in, and unique perspective on, the proper role of local law and local courts in addressing climate change. Under ‘basic’ principles of ‘federalism,’ all fifty States have the prerogative to pursue their own policies within their own borders. By the same token, however, no State (or locality) may set policy for the rest. The Court should reject the District’s attempt to use its own courts and law to regulate beyond its borders on a contentious issue.” 

To read the full amicus brief, click here.