Law Schedule of Classes

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

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

272.31 sec. 001 - The Supreme Court Confronts Climate Change (Spring 2021)

Instructor: Daniel A. Farber  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


M 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From January 25, 2021
To April 26, 2021

Course Start: January 25, 2021
Course End: April 26, 2021
Class Number (1Ls): 33212
Class Number: 33212

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 11
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 12
As of: 05/08 05:45 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. This course is designed for students who have not taken other environmental law courses, and no environmental background is required. Students will be required to write two very short papers (3 pp. apiece) based on the readings and current events.

This course meets every other week for 7 sessions: January 25th, February 8th, February 22nd, March 8th, March 29th, April 12th and April 26th

This class is designed to give students an extra opportunity to engage despite our remote form of interaction. In light of that goal, this class will expect real-time attendance and may not be recorded. The total written work requirement will be no more than 8 double-spaced pages.

Exam Notes: (None) Class requires a series of papers, assignments, or presentations throughout the semester
Course Category: Environmental and Energy Law

The following file is available for this course:


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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: unknown
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: $29.95
    Note: prices are sampled from internet bookstores. Law-school Bookstore prices are unavailable at this time.

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