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American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut

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


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


Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

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