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Judging the Environment judicial nominations photo
 

A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Defenders of Wildlife

About Us

A project of Defenders of Wildlife, Judging the Environment conducts research to advise the environmental community and to educate the public on the importance of lifetime federal judicial nominees.  We continue to urge the President and the Senate to fill record numbers of vacancies to preserve access to courts and the rights of average Americans to ensure enforcement of environmental and other safeguards.

Senior Attorney Glenn Sugameli continues to head Judging the Environment, which he founded in 2001

Judicial appointments have become an environmental priority. Because so many environmental enforcement issues end up in court, federal judges play a crucial role.  Judges decide not only how to interpret and enforce, but also whether to uphold or strike down, the laws that protect our nation's clean water, clean air, communities, special natural places, and endangered species. Unfortunately, activist judges often place their interests first and prevent laws from being carried out as Congress intended.

As Presidential appointees, judges must be confirmed by the Senate. Once confirmed, every federal District (trial) Court, Circuit Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court judge holds the position for life, giving every confirmation long-lasting impact. To preserve the integrity of the federal judiciary, each nominee must base decisions on fairness and honesty, not hostility to balanced safety, heath, and environmental protections.

Never before have the stakes been higher.  Many federal judges are exceeding their proper role by rewriting laws passed by Congress, in order to serve their own personal preferences. The make-up of many courts threatens to seriously weaken, if not nullify, many of our landmark environmental statutes.

Learn more about the issues the Judging the Environment team is working on now. These include unique compilations on the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and the three nominees who filled critical vacancies on the 11-seat court, as well as pending legislation that would implement the U.S. Courts recommendations to Create New Judgeships.

Unique editorials and commentary compilations are sortable by key issues including issues where federal courts play a key role, such as more than 300 Editorial Board opinions and Op-Eds on Endangered and Threatened Species, and more than 600 Editorials and Op-Eds on Climate Change.

This comprehensive, continuously updated public Judging the Environment Website provides excerpts from and links to essential resources that are sortable by Nominee, Issue, Senator, Publication, and more. It includes an exclusive WHITE HOUSE STATEMENTS collection, Judicial Conference of the U.S. Judgeship Recommendations & Draft Legislation (04/05/13), Congressional Research Service reports, links to other websites, and sortable: