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American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut

United States Supreme Court
131 S.Ct. 2527 (2011)


Facts

Connecticut, several other States, the City of New York, and three private land trusts (plaintiffs) filed a nuisance suit in federal district court against American Electric Power Company and three other emitters of carbon-dioxide (defendants) claiming the emissions were harmful to the environment. Plaintiffs’ sought a judicial decree setting carbon-dioxide emissions for each defendant at an initial cap, to be further reduced annually. The district court dismissed the suit as presenting a non-justiciable political question. Plaintiffs appealed. The court of appeals reversed and held that plaintiffs had presented a claim under the “federal common law of nuisance.” Defendants appealed. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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