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CELPC Presents - Richard Lazarus, Book Talk "The Rule of Five"

Tuesday, September 29

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

The Rule of Five Making Climate History at the Supreme Court

The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court (Harvard University Press 2020) tells the inside story of the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, the Court’s most famous environmental law case. We see how accidents, infighting, luck, superb lawyering, and the arcane practices of the Supreme Court collided to produce a legal miracle. An acclaimed advocate, Richard Lazarus reveals the personal dynamics of the justices and dramatizes the workings of the Court. The final ruling, by a razor-thin 5–4 margin, made possible important environmental safeguards which the Trump administration now seeks to unravel.

Richard J. Lazarus is the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard University, where he teaches courses on environmental law and Supreme Court decision making. He has represented the government and environmental groups in forty Supreme Court cases and has presented oral argument in fourteen. 

For more information, please contact Nina Marie Bell at