Recusal Causes Reversal

Recusal Causes Reversal of Climate Change Ruling

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Peter Hardin, GAVEL GRAB, 6/3/10. Because eight judges of a 16-member federal appeals court now have disqualified themselves, the remaining appeals judges have thrown out a landmark environmental ruling by a three-judge panel. The panel of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2009 that plaintiffs could go ahead with a lawsuit against utilities, chemical companies and the oil industry over damages that global warming caused, a New York Times article reported. After seven judges on the appeals court recused themselves, the remaining nine voted for the full court to consider the case, effectively vacating the panel’s decision. The move by seven judges to step aside was presumably due to connections or holdings that could have been perceived as posing a conflict of interests. Read More