Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

272.31 sec. 001 - The Supreme Court Confronts Climate Change (Fall 2020)

Instructor: Daniel A. Farber  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only

Due to COVID-19, this class is remote for Fall 2020.
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


Th 6:25 PM - 8:15 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From August 20, 2020
To November 12, 2020

Course Start: August 20, 2020
Course End: November 12, 2020
Class Number (1Ls): 34323

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 9
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 11
As of: 12/07 09:41 AM

In 2007, the Supreme Court decided its first case relating to climate change. Massachusetts v. EPA was a historic ruling. It marked the first time a branch of the U.S. government official acknowledged the reality of climate change. The Court rejected the Bush Administration’s excuses for inaction and started the U.S. down the road to reduce emissions.

In this seminar, we’ll try to understand this litigation: the historical context, the strategies of the environmental lawyers, the legal issues, and the dynamics within the Supreme Court. We’ll also look at how EPA responded to the decision under Presidents Obama and Trump, and where the future may lead. No background in environmental law is required. Students will be required to write two very short papers (3 pp. apiece) based on the readings and news stories.

This course meets every other week for 7 sessions beginning on Thursday, August 20th.

This class is among the special Fall 2020 1L elective seminars designed to give entering 1Ls an extra opportunity to form connections despite our remote form of interaction. In light of that goal, these classes will expect real-time attendance and may not be recorded. These classes will all be graded on a Credit/No Credit basis and total written work requirement will be no more than 8 double-spaced pages.

Real-time attendance at the first Zoom class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

This course is only open to 1Ls.

Exam Notes: (None) Class requires a series of papers, assignments, or presentations throughout the semester
Course Category: Environmental and Energy Law
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
First Year Courses

If you are the instructor or their FSU, you may add a file like a syllabus or a first assignment to this page.

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Required Books are in blue

  • The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court
    Richard J. Lazarus
    Publisher: Belknap Press
    ISBN: 9780674238121
    e-Book Available: Yes
    e-Book procurement note:
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: $29.95
    Price Source: user provided

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