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News Posted on May 24, 2010

Professor Frank Publishes Op-ed on Justice Stevens' Environmental Record

Professor Rick Frank has published an essay on retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' record with regard to environmental law.  "Justice Stevens' Abiding Environmental Legacy" appeared in the May 18 editions of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal

Despite taking a "conservative course when it came to environmental issues" in his earliest opinions, "a comprehensive review of Justice Stevens' voting record on the Court demonstrates that, far more often, he charted a progressive course concerning the environmental cases that came before the High Court. And his pro-environment philosophy became far more consistent and deeply ingrained the longer he served as a Supreme Court justice."

Professor Frank lists influential environmental decisions authored by Justice Stevens and concludes "Environmental advocates are understandably glum over Justice John Paul Stevens' imminent departure from the Supreme Court. Especially over the past two decades, Stevens has represented the most reliable environmental vote among the justices. In retrospect, and more importantly, Justice Stevens may well go down in legal history as the most influential jurist of the modern environmental law era."

Professor Frank, a 1974 graduate of King Hall, is Executive Director of the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment at UC Berkeley and a Visiting Lecturer at King Hall.