Amicus Briefs

Amicus briefs submitted by UCLA Emmett Institute faculty on behalf of various clients. 

Amicus Curiae Letter for Environmental Law Foundation in Los Angeles Waterkeeper v. State Water Resources Control Board

August 1, 2023 | Cara Horowitz and Ruthie Lazenby 

Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic Director Cara Horowitz and Shapiro Fellow Ruthie Lazenby submitted an amicus curiae letter in support of a petition to review the Court of Appeal’s decision in Los Angeles Waterkeeper v. State Water Resources Control Board. The letter was submitted to the Supreme Court of California on behalf of the Environmental Law Foundation. This case centers on constitutional and statutory provisions—colloquially known as the "waste and unreasonable use" provisions—that are unique to California and provide important tools for protecting and managing California’s water.

View publication page. Download the letter

Amicus Brief in V Lions Farming, LLC, et al. v. County of Kern, et al. dealing with protection of the Temblor Legless Lizard 

June 30, 2023 | Andria So, Cara Horowitz and Gabriel Greif  

Staff and faculty at the UCLA Emmett Institute filed an amicus brief at the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District in the case V Lions Farming, LLC, et al. v. County of Kern, et al. The case centers on a proposed Kern County ordinance to streamline oil and gas development in that county that would devastate the environment and local wildlife.  

The subject of this brief is the Temblor Legless Lizard, a sand-swimming reptile unique to Kern and Fresno Counties whose survival as a species is jeopardized by the already extensive oil and gas drilling in its narrow range. Amicus curiae is Bradley Shaffer, a UCLA ecology professor and expert in conservation biology of amphibians and reptiles. The brief was filed as part of the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic at the UCLA School of Law.

View publication page. View the brief

Amicus Brief in California Restaurant Association v. Berkeley for law professors

June 14, 2023 | Daniel Carpenter-Gold, Cara Horowitz, and Julia Stein

Staff and faculty at the UCLA Emmett Institute filed an amicus brief at the Ninth District U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the California Restaurant Association v. Berkeley case, which deals with the city’s ordinance limiting the installation of gas hookups in new buildings. The amici curiae are seven law professors: UCLA’s William Boyd, Dan Farber and Sharon Jacobs at UC Berkeley, Jim Rossi at Vanderbilt, David Spence at UT Austin, Shelley Welton at UPenn, and Hannah Wiseman at Penn State. This brief explains why the Ninth Circuit should accept Berkeley’s petition to rehear the case “en banc,” to review the decision that a panel of three judges issued back in April. The brief was filed as part of the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic at the UCLA School of Law.

View publication page. View the brief.

Amicus Brief in Patz et al. v. City of San Diego for Water Watchdogs

May 22, 2023 | Cara Horowitz and Heather Dadashi

On May 19, 2023, faculty at the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment filed an amicus brief in the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Fourth District, supporting tiered water rates as one important tool for local water agencies to advance the state’s conservation and equity goals. The brief was filed as part of the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic on behalf of California Coastkeeper Alliance and Los Angeles Waterkeeper by Emmett Institute Executive Director Cara Horowitz along with Emmett/Frankel Fellow Heather Dadashi.

This brief was submitted in the case of Daniel Patz, Joan Mann Chesner, et al. v. City of San Diego, a class action challenging the city’s use of tiered water rates, whereby individual water users are charged progressively higher prices as water use increases.

View the publication page. View the brief

Amicus Brief in NRDC v. NHTSA for Congressional Democrats

April 4, 2023 | Cara Horowitz and Gabriel Greif 

On April 3, 2023, faculty at the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit supporting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s consideration of California’s Zero-Emission Vehicles standards in its rulemaking adopting nationwide fuel-economy standards.

The brief responds to claims by some parties that California’s Zero-Emission Vehicles standards are preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) as “relating to” fuel-economy standards and that NHTSA therefore may not consider them in its rulemaking. The amicus brief emphasizes California’s clear authority to create ZEV standards under the Clean Air Act, an authority Congress recognized when it passed EPCA and subsequent legislation.

It was filed as part of the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic on behalf of Congressional Democrats by Emmett Institute Executive Director Cara Horowitz along with Emmett/Frankel Fellow Gabriel Greif. The amici members of Congress are Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-New Jersey), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The pair has chaired the two committees with jurisdiction over the Clean Air Act. 

View the publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief for Congressional Dems in State of Ohio et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency et al 

January 20, 2023 | Cara Horowitz, Gabriel Greif, Daniel Carpenter-Gold

On January 20, 2023, faculty at the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit supporting the right of the Environmental Protection Agency to grant a long-held waiver to California to regulate vehicle emissions more stringently than the federal government. The brief was filed as part of the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic on behalf of Congressional Democrats by Emmett Institute Executive Director Cara Horowitz along with Emmett/Frankel Fellow Gabriel Grief and Shapiro Fellow Daniel Carpenter-Gold. The amici members of Congress are Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-New Jersey), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The pair has chaired the two committees with jurisdiction over the Clean Air Act. View Publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief for Local Governments in Chevron U.S.A. Inc v. County of Monterey

October 19, 2022 | Sean Hecht, Gabriel Greif

On October 19, 2022, as part of the Frank G. Wells Clinic in Environmental, clinic co-director Sean Hecht and Emmett/Frankel Fellow Gabriel Greif filed a brief in the California Supreme Court supporting local government authority to limit specific oil and gas extraction-related land uses. The people of the County of Monterey enacted a County General Plan provision, by voter initiative, limiting these land uses. Businesses engaged in oil extraction activities challenged the law, asserting that California state law preempts this local regulation. The Clinic’s brief argues that the law is valid, citing over a century of court decisions upholding local government regulation determining where and whether oil and gas operations may take place, in order to protect public health, safety, and welfare. The brief was filed on behalf of clients League of California Cities, California Association of Counties, and the County of Los Angeles. View publication pageDownload PDF

 

Amicus Brief for Law Professors in California Restaurant Association v. City of Berkeley 

February 8, 2022 | Daniel Carpenter-Gold, Cara Horowitz, Julia Stein

On February 8, 2022, as part of the Frank G. Wells Clinic in Environmental Law, Daniel Carpenter-Gold, Cara Horowitz, and Julia Stein filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of seven law professors in the Ninth Circuit case California Restaurant Association v. City of Berkeley, in which the California Restaurant Association (CRA), an industry association, is challenging a Berkeley ordinance barring natural-gas piping in most new buildings on the ground that it is preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). The clinic’s clients are leading experts in energy and environmental law: William Boyd, UCLA; Dan Farber, UC Berkeley; Sharon Jacobs, University of Colorado Boulder; Jim Rossi, Vanderbilt; David Spence, UT Austin; Shelley Welton, University of South Carolina and UPenn; Hannah Wiseman, Penn State. The brief argues that state and local control over utility infrastructure siting is an important element of U.S. energy regulation and Congress showed no intent to eliminate that control in enacting EPCA. Consequently, EPCA does not preempt local ordinances like Berkeley’s. View publication pageDownload PDF.

 

Amicus Brief for Grid Experts in West Virginia v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

January 25, 2022 | William Boyd, Cara Horowitz, Andria So

Emmett Institute faculty members William Boyd and Cara Horowitz and Emmett/Frankel Fellow Andria So submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in West Virginia v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the case challenging EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from certain power plants. The brief was submitted on behalf of U.S. electricity grid experts Benjamin F. Hobbs, Brendan Kirby, Kenneth J. Lutz, and James D. McCalley. The brief argues that effective power-sector pollution controls work with the distinctive characteristics of electricity and the interconnectedness of the regional grids; that power companies and grid operators have historically responded to air pollution controls by shifting to lower-emitting generators; and that CO2 pollution control measures are incorporated easily into power-sector operations. View publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief on Behalf of Thomas Jorling in West Virginia v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

January 25, 2021 | Ted Lamm (Berkeley Law), Sean Hecht

In an amicus brief filed to the U.S. Supreme Court in West Virginia v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Sean Hecht and Berkeley Law's Ted Lamm argue Congress wrote the Clean Air Act to achieve an ambitious but clearly stated goal—promotion of public health and welfare through the protection of air quality—and it empowered EPA to achieve this goal by crafting and enforcing a set of emission reduction standards covering all major sources and types of air pollution. Congress did not limit standards in Section 111 of the Act to those that can be applied “to and at” individual sources. Their client, Tom Jorling, served as lead minority (Republican) staff on the Senate committee that drafted and negotiated the pivotal 1970 amendments that form today’s law, and wrote the first definitive treatise explaining the Clean Air Act’s provisions in the early 1970s. Subsequently, Jorling implemented the Act in high-level positions in federal and state government and the private sector throughout his long career. View the publication pageDownload PDF

 

Amicus Curiae Letter for League of California Cities and California Association of Counties in Chevron v. Monterey County

Sean Hecht | December 17, 2021

On December 17, 2021, Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic Co-Director Sean Hecht submitted an amicus curiae letter in support of petition to review to the Supreme Court of California in Chevron v. Monterey County. The brief was submitted on behalf of clients the League of California Cities and the California Association of Counties. The case centers on a Monterey County voter initiative, Measure Z, that changed the Monterey County General Plan to limit or forbid certain land uses supporting oil and gas drilling. The brief argues a Sixth District Court of Appeal’s opinion in the case adopted a novel analysis that could unduly limit the core police power authority of cities and counties to protect public health and safety through well-established land use controls. The brief urges the California Supreme Court to review the opinion, arguing the Sixth District’s opinion calls into question local governments’ longstanding authority to regulate where oil and gas drilling can take place within their jurisdictions, and would invite other intrusions into core police powers of cities and counties. (Note: On January 26, 2022, the Supreme Court of California granted the petition to review). View publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief for Members of Congress in Competitive Enterprise Institute, et al. v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), et al.

January 21, 2021 | Cara Horowitz, Julia Stein, Benjamin Harris, Beth Kent, Siyi Shen

UCLA Emmett Institute faculty members Cara Horowitz, Julia Stein, Benjamin Harris, Beth Kent and Siyi Shen submitted an amicus brief on January 21, 2021, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the Trump administration’s rollback of federal vehicle pollution and fuel economy standards. The brief was filed on behalf of Sen. Tom Carper, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. View Publication Page. Download PDF. Read UCLA Newsroom Q&A with Cara Horowitz.

 

Amicus Brief in Defense of Clean Air in Imperial County, California

August 24, 2020 | Sean Hecht, Charles Corbett

On August 24, 2020, UCLA Law faculty members Sean B. Hecht and Charles R. Corbett filed an amicus brief for the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic in a case before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Case No. 20-71196) concerning the regulation of air pollution in Imperial Valley, California. The brief was filed on behalf of Comité Civico del Valle, an environmental justice and public health organization that advocates for better pollution controls in Imperial County. View publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief on Trump Administration’s Attempt to Revoke California’s Clean Car Standards

July 6, 2020 | Cara Horowitz, Julia Stein, Benjamin Harris, Ann Carlson

On behalf of 29 U.S. Senators and 118 U.S. Representatives, the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic filed an amicus brief on July 6, 2020, in a D.C. Circuit case challenging the Trump administration's attempt to revoke California's clean car standards.  View publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief for National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks in Union of Concerned Scientists, et al. v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

July 1, 2020 | Sean Hecht, Ted Lamm

On July 1, 2020, Sean Hecht and Ted Lamm of Berkeley Law filed a brief on behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks in Union of Concerned Scientists, et al. v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The authors show that climate change- and air pollution-related harms occurring in California's National Parks provide direct evidence of the compelling and extraordinary conditions that justify California’s vehicle emissions program. View publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief for Grid Experts in American Lung Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

April 23, 2020 | William Boyd, Ann Carlson, Charles Corbett, Cara Horowitz

On April 23, 2020, Emmett Institute faculty members Cara Horowitz, William Boyd, Ann Carlson, and Charles Corbett submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in American Lung Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the case challenging the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule and the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. View publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief on Behalf of Thomas Jorling in American Lung Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

April 20, 2020 | Ted Lamm, Sean Hecht

In an amicus brief filed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in American Lung Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Sean Hecht and Berkeley Law's Ted Lamm argue the Affordable Clean Energy Rule is directly opposed to what Congress intended, and said, when it crafted the Clean Air Act. Their client, Tom Jorling, is a renowned Clean Air Act expert who served as a staffer on the Senate committee that drafted and negotiated the pivotal 1970 amendments that form today’s law. View publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief to Court of Appeal of the State of California in World Logistics Center Case

December 26, 2019 | Cara Horowitz, Julia Stein

On December 26, 2019, Cara Horowitz and Julia Stein, counsel for amici California CEQA and climate policy experts, filed an amicus brief to the Court of Appeal of the State of California in a case concerning the World Logistics Center, a proposed 40 million square foot warehouse development in Moreno Valley, CA, that is estimated to draw 70,000 truck trips per day at full buildout. View publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief in Court of Appeal of the State of California, Sixth Appellate District in Chevron v. County of Monterey

August 9, 2019 | Sean Hecht, Benjamin Harris

On August 9, 2019, Sean Hecht and Benjamin Harris of UCLA Law School’s Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic filed an amici curiae brief on behalf of the League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties in Chevron v. County of Monterey. View publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief for Scientists in Weyerhaeuser Company v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, et al.

July 5, 2018 | Sean Hecht

On July 5, 2018, students and faculty in the UCLA Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of a group of world-class scientists including E.O. Wilson, Stuart Pimm, and UCLA's Brad Shaffer. Sean Hecht authored the brief with assistance from students Jen Garlock '19 and Heejin Hwang '19. The brief argued the Court and federal agencies should employ a scientific understanding of habitat, not a dictionary definition that would inadequately protect species, to implement the Endangered Species Act in the way Congress intended. View publication page. Download PDF.

 

Amicus Brief for Grid Experts in Support of EPA's Clean Power Plan

April 1, 2016 | Megan Herzog, Cara Horowitz, Sarah Duffy, Ann Carlson, William Boyd

On April 1, 2016, Megan Herzog, Cara Horowitz, Sarah Duffy, & Ann Carlson of UCLA Law School’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, together with William Boyd of University of Colorado Law School, filed an amici curiae brief on behalf of five electric grid experts: Benjamin F. Hobbs, Brendan Kirby, Kenneth J. Lutz, James D. McCalley, and Brian Parsons in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s "Clean Power Plan" to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel-fired electric generating units. View publication page. Download PDF.

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