Judging the Environment In The News
Links to Articles, Editorials, Commentary, Blogs, Radio and TV about the Judging the Environment project
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LAW: Liberals hammer Grassley on lower-court nominees (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 04/07/16)
"Several dozen groups including [Defenders of Wildlife and other] environmentalists, labor organizations and civil rights advocates sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today, pressing him to take action on seven federal appeals court nominees and dozens of nominees for federal district courts. ... "While a great deal of public attention has rightly been focused on the pending nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, vacancies on the lower courts must not be lost amidst the debate," says the letter sent by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 42 other organizations.
Many of the nominees "would fill seats in districts that are currently facing judicial emergencies," the letter says. Many of those nominees come from states where both senators have indicated their approval, the letter says, which should normally "clear the way for hearings and up-or-down confirmation votes. Instead, these nominees have fallen victim to election-year gamesmanship."
The seven appeals court nominees are Rebecca Haywood for the 3rd Circuit, Lisabeth Hughes for the 6th Circuit, Donald Schott and Myra Selby for the 7th Circuit, Jennifer Puhl for the 8th Circuit, Lucy Koh for the 9th Circuit, and Abdul Kallon for the 11th Circuit.
"The Committee has a constitutional responsibility to provide advice and consent on presidential nominees, and a duty to the American people to simply do its job. In the coming weeks and months, our organizations will continue to make the case until it does," the groups wrote."
SUPREME COURT: Green machine ready to back White House in nominee brawl (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 03/15/16)
"I am absolutely sure that there is unanimous and united and very strong and active support within the environmental community for the need for a nomination, the need for a hearing on the nominee and the need for a vote on the nominee," said Glenn Sugameli, a staff attorney at Defenders of Wildlife who heads a project that keeps tabs on nominees to federal courts.
"The members of environmental groups understand how important the federal courts are for upholding and enforcing environmental law," Sugameli said. Still, he added, interest groups will delve into the eventual nominee's record once Obama's choice is announced. Among the candidates rumored to be in the running, "I don't see real issues arising," he said.
Records of Obama's Four D.C. Circuit Picks Offer Minimal Insight on Environmental Views (BNA, 02/12/14)
Glenn Sugameli, an attorney with Defenders of Wildlife who runs Judging the Environment, a project that monitors federal judicial selection, told Bloomberg BNA that judges tend to relate to their former clients. From the perspective of environmental groups, the four new judges may not be the ideal picks because they don't have extensive backgrounds working for public interest groups, he said.
“These are not necessarily the ideal nominees if the question is: Do we want to win cases?” Sugameli said. “But they are pretty much ideal if we want them to follow the facts, follow the Constitution and understand what's at stake.”
Echoing sentiments expressed by other observers, Sugameli said the four Obama appointees are well-regarded in the legal world, and they understand administrative law, which is a large part of environmental law. They are dedicated to spending the time and effort to decide complex environmental cases, he said.
“There's very good reason to believe that the decisions they write or join will be carefully written and will actually examine all the issues,” he said.
COURTS: EPA air cases on deck as Obama appointee joins D.C. Circuit bench (Greenwire, 09/06/13)
Srinivasan is "clearly very bright, extremely qualified and he has a mass of experience," said Glenn Sugameli, who tracks the D.C. Circuit for Defenders of Wildlife. "And he's relatively young. He is in a position where he could have a big influence on the court."
Standing is a "very broad, sweeping issue," Sugameli said. "It tends to be more of a potential constitutional barrier to Congress' clear intent to give citizens the right to enforce environmental statutes. ... So those cases can be critical."
COURTS: Obama nominates 3 to D.C. Circuit (Greenwire, 06/04/13)
"The Grassley bill is a joke," said Glenn Sugameli, who tracks judicial nominations for Defenders of Wildlife. "The D.C. Circuit has an exclusive or leading role in upholding or gutting a broad range of national environmental safeguards."
Courts: Obama's pick for D.C. Circuit set for Senate hearing (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 04/09/13)
Jeremy P. Jacobs: ""The bottom line is this is extremely important for conservation and environmental groups because this is the court that has exclusive authority to decide, under major environmental statutes, what will be the protections for people, wildlife and the environment," said Glenn Sugameli, an attorney with Defenders of Wildlife who follows judicial nominations closely. "In many cases, it's a mini-Supreme Court," he added. "If you can't confirm Sri, who are you going to confirm?" Sugameli asked."
Courts: Republicans again block D.C. Circuit nominee (Greenwire, 03/06/13)
Jeremy P. Jacobs: "Environmental groups immediately criticized Republicans. Glenn Sugameli of Defenders of Wildlife, who tracks judicial nominations, said the Republican arguments against Halligan were "dishonest and clearly erroneous." He echoed Schumer's claims that Republicans were simply trying to avoid "allowing any balance" on the D.C. Circuit."
COURTS: Senate Judiciary panel approves D.C. Circuit nominee (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 02/15/13)
"The D.C. Circuit is the nation's second most important court, with exclusive or primary authority to decide whether a broad range of national environmental and health safeguards will be struck down or upheld and enforced," said Glenn Sugameli, who follows judicial appointments at Defenders of Wildlife.
He added it is "essential" for Obama to fill the vacancies.
"Obama is the first president in many decades with no D.C. Circuit judges," Sugameli said. "In contrast, a Democratic Senate confirmed four of President George W. Bush's nominees, including to the 10th and 11th seats."
COURTS: Liberals push Obama to restock powerful D.C. Circuit (Greenwire, 02/06/13)
Jeremy P. Jacobs: "The D.C. Circuit is the second most important court for the environment in the country after the Supreme Court," said Glenn Sugameli, who tracks judicial nominations for Defenders of Wildlife. "For the vast majority of the cases, it has the final say for safeguards for air, water and other toxic threats. The court is at a point where it desperately needs new judges."
Courts: Judge opens door for Obama by taking senior status (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 11/30/12)
"Glenn Sugameli, a lawyer at Defenders of Wildlife who tracks judicial nominations, said the vacancy "demonstrates the urgency to bring the vital D.C. Circuit appeals court back to the 11-judge strength that it had when the Democratic Senate confirmed four of President George W. Bush's nominees to that court.""
Republicans block Geraci’s nomination (Daily Record [NY], 09/22/12)
nominations, proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “There’s still a possibility that they could agree and confirm some or all of those nominations,” Glenn Sugameli, head of Judging the Environment’s judicial nominations project in Washington, D.C., said Friday. “Nobody has opposed any of the 14 nominees who came through committee on voice votes.” Sugameli said unless the Republicans agree to allow a vote, there would not be enough time to vote on the pending nominees before the Senate recesses until after the Nov. 6 general election. He was not optimistic action would be taken between the elections and when the 113th Congress is seated in January. “It’s a total crap shoot,” Sugameli said. “The idea that maybe we might get to one of these in the lame duck session is no comfort at all. The idea that you might have to wait to fill these judicial emergencies until well into next year is outrageous. This is appalling.” Sugameli called McConnell’s statistics “a numbers game” and said there is no reason for Republicans to object. He agreed with Reid that votes on district court nominees who have the support of their home senators and are unopposed have never been blocked before. Sugameli said there is no reason to leave the judicial nominations hanging, “other than sheer partisan obstruction,” something he said he has never seen before in all the years he has been following judicial nominations. “This still stuns me,” he said. “It’s a big deal because there are over 800 district judges and they’re the judges who hold trials and decide issues that are critical to ordinary people, companies and others,” Sugameli said. “That’s where justice delayed is justice denied is especially true, at the trial court level.” “There is plenty of recent precedent for confirming at least the 17 pending nominees,” Sugameli said. “Something still could happen. It should happen. It always has happened. What tends to happen is that nominations, including judicial nominations, are the last thing they do before they walk out the door.”
JUDGES: Enviro groups at White House summit urge action on nominations (Greenwire, 05/07/12)
Representatives from environmental groups were among those attending a White House summit this morning aimed at putting the spotlight on the slow rate at which the Senate has approved judicial nominations.
Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters and the Environmental Working Group were among 150 groups participating, according to Glenn Sugameli, a lawyer at Defenders of Wildlife. Attorney General Eric Holder was among the administration officials taking part. ...
Obama's nominees have "disproportionately been the subject of partisan, unwarranted attacks," said Sugameli, who attended the meeting.
Different CO2 take (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review [PA] , 07/07/11)
Glenn Sugameli, Letter to the Editor: "The editorial "The EPA & the courts: The CO2 question" (June 27 and TribLIVE.com) misdescribes a new U.S. Supreme Court decision while ignoring a previous one.
First, only federal common law claims were barred by the latest ruling; it did not, as the editorial claims, reject "a lawsuit that sought to use public-nuisance laws to force utilities to cut CO2 emissions." In fact, the decision asked lower courts to decide if the Clean Air Act allows the case's state common law public nuisance claims and noted that the Clean Water Act allows "nuisance claim(s) pursuant to the law of the source State."
Second, the editorial misleadingly claims that "EPA's fallacious classification of carbon dioxide as a pollutant was left unaddressed. ... Not at issue was EPA regulating CO2 as a pollutant ..."
In 2007, however, the court ruled that "Because greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act's capacious definition of 'air pollutant,' we hold that EPA has the statutory authority to regulate the emission of such gases from new motor vehicles." In the current case, only Justices Alito and Thomas distanced themselves from that 2007 ruling, noting that they assumed "for the sake of argument" that it is correct."
Editorial: One for the birds Supreme Court backs EPA ban on a crop pesticide that's deadly to avians (Houston Chronicle, 06/16/11)
"The EPA decision confirmed what we've been saying for years: carbofuran is a deadly poison that has absolutely no place in our food or the environment," says Jason Rylander, senior staff attorney for Defenders of Wildlife. "The court's action means that, in this case, the health and safety of the American people and our nation's wildlife have trumped the profits of powerful corporations."
SENATE: Enviro groups urge action on judicial confirmations (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 02/15/11)
Glenn Sugameli, who tracks judicial nominations for Defenders of Wildlife, said filling judicial vacancies is important to environmental groups because "people and endangered wildlife suffer and die when corporations illegally continue to pollute and destroy the environment for years because of the massive court backlogs caused by empty judgeships."
Judgeships lie vacant as Senate Republicans stall confirmations (Daily Princetonian [Princeton University, NJ], 10/19/10)
"[F]ederal court access has suffered as holds placed on candidates caused vacancies to soar. The number of vacant judgeships that U.S. courts have declared “judicial emergencies” has risen to 49, from 20." Glenn Sugameli '76, published Letter to the Editor
Federal Judicial Vacancy Crisis Deepens as Unnamed Senate Republicans Block Floor Votes on All 23 Pending Judicial Nominees (American Constitution Society Blog, 09/30/10)
Glenn Sugameli Guest Post: "nominees remain frozen, however, despite announced support from Republican home-state senators who are unable to convince their colleagues to allow a vote (or are unwilling to follow Sen. Alexander's successful example). These include Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Robert Bennett (10th Circuit nominee Scott Matheson, Jr.); Arizona Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain (9th Circuit nominee Mary Murguia); Mississippi Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker (district court nominee Carlton Reeves); and North Carolina's Richard Burr (4th Circuit nominee Albert Diaz and district court nominee Catherine Eagles)."
A Friend of the Earth Joins the Supreme Court (Earth Connection, 08/10/10)
"More than 40 national environmental organizations actively supported President Obama’s appointment of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. In a letter to Senators prior to last Thursday’s Senate approval of Kagan’s confirmation, the groups cited her “understanding of the importance of fair Court decisions that uphold, enforce, and correctly interpret laws that protect people, wildlife, and the environment.”"
Environmental Groups Smile on Kagan's Ascension to Supreme Court (Environment News Service, 08/06/10)
"A letter signed by 45 groups and sent to the senators on Tuesday says, "Kagan is extremely well qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and we endorse her nomination without qualification."
The groups that signed the letter include some of the country's largest and most influential organizations such as the League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice, the Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon, the National Hispanic Environmental Council and Greenpeace USA. Regional conservation groups are also represented."
SENATE: Kagan confirmed for Supreme Court (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 08/05/10)
"Kagan was backed by some of the nation's largest environmental advocacy groups, 45 of which sent a letter urging the Senate to approve her nomination. The letter, which was written and circulated by Defenders of Wildlife, pointed to her statements during confirmation hearings that Congress has broad authority to pass environmental laws and that the Supreme Court should give them deference.
"The court is narrowly and deeply split on critical constitutional and statutory environmental protection issues," the letter said. "Kagan's record and her Supreme Court confirmation hearing testimony demonstrate an essential understanding of the importance of fair Court decisions that uphold, enforce and correctly interpret laws that protect people, wildlife, and the environment.""
SUPREME COURT: Graham joins Democrats as Judiciary panel approves Kagan (Greenwire, 07/20/10)
"35 environmental organizations ... backed her in a letter sent yesterday to Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the committee's ranking member. ..."The court is narrowly and deeply split on critical constitutional and statutory environmental protection issues," says the letter, which was written and circulated by Defenders of Wildlife. "Kagan's record and her Supreme Court confirmation hearing testimony demonstrate an essential understanding of the importance of fair Court decisions that uphold, enforce and correctly interpret laws that protect people, wildlife, and the environment.""
Joint Letter from Environmental Organizations (ABA Journal, 07/19/10)
Senate Judiciary Committee link to: July 19, 2010 - Joint Letter from Environmental Organizations [Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon, Greenpeace USA, Earthjustice, League of Conservation Voters, Endangered Species Coalition, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, The Wilderness Society, Advocates for the West, Alaska Center for the Environment, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Kentucky Resources Council, Inc., Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Magic, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, McKenzie Guardians, Citizens for Public Resources, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Conservation Northwest, Montana Environmental Information Center, Endangered Habitats League, Northwest Environmental Advocates, Friends of Blackwater, Oregon Wild, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Public Lands Without Livestock, Green Delaware, Soda Mountain Wilderness Council, Gulf Restoration Network, WaterWatch of Oregon, Idaho Conservation League, WildEarth Guardians, Idaho Rivers United, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation]
SUPREME COURT: After week of hearings, Kagan seen as taking Stevens' place on enviro cases (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 07/02/10)
"Kagan encouragingly emphasized the role of Congress in defining within broad limits who should have standing to enforce the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and other laws," said Glenn Sugameli, a staff attorney at Defenders of Wildlife, who leads the advocacy group's Judging the Environment project.
Elena Kagan started Harvard environmental law program (USA Today, 05/11/10)
"She has an in-depth knowledge of the nuts and bolts of how issues work in the real world," Glenn Sugameli, an attorney at Defenders of Wildlife and founder of Judging the Environment, which monitors federal courts, tells Grist.
Elena Kagan, climate realist (Grist, 05/10/10)
"She has an in-depth knowledge of the nuts and bolts of how issues work in the real world," said Glenn Sugameli, an attorney at Defenders of Wildlife and founder of Judging the Environment, which monitors federal courts. "That's important because, if you look at the current court, they're almost all lifetime ‘judicial monastery' types. They're so used to looking at things from a judge's standpoint that they don't really understand them."
Obama Nominates Solicitor General Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court (Environment News Service, 05/10/10)
Glenn Sugameli, founder and head of the environmental community's Judging the Environment project, said, "We welcome President Obama's Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan, whose record shows an essential understanding of the importance of upholding and enforcing laws that protect people, wildlife and the environment."
"While she was dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan made environmental law a top priority," said Sugameli. "She helped found the Environmental Law Program, and, in one of her most prominent hires, recruited prominent environmental scholar Jody Freeman to lead the program. Kagan also started an Environmental Law and Policy Clinic where students provide vital assistance on cases and policy."
"It is critical that Justice Stevens' successor be fair-minded and experienced and understand why environmental laws were written," Sugameli said.
SUPREME COURT: Kagan introduced as nominee (Greenwire, 05/10/10)
"We look forward to the Senate's deliberations on this important nomination as the court is sharply and closely divided on the fate of basic environmental safeguards and citizens' access to court. Respect for and understanding of environmental laws that protect all Americans are essential," said Glenn Sugameli, a staff attorney at Defenders of Wildlife who leads the advocacy group's Judging the Environment project. "The next justice will help determine the fate of basic environmental safeguards for decades to come."
More Reaction to Kagan Nomination (Legal Times, 05/10/10)
Glenn Sugameli, staff attorney, Defenders of Wildlife “We welcome President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan, whose record shows an essential understanding of the importance of upholding and enforcing laws that protect people, wildlife and the environment. While she was dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan made environmental law a top priority. She helped found the Environmental Law Program, and in one of her most prominent hires, recruited prominent environmental scholar Jody Freeman to lead the program. Kagan also started an Environmental Law & Policy Clinic where students provide vital assistance on cases and policy. It is critical that Justice Stevens’ successor be fair-minded and experienced and understand why environmental laws were written.”
Wednesday round-up (SCOTUSBlog, 04/28/10)
"Glenn Sugameli, writing for ACSblog, recalls the perceived unlikelihood of the Monsanto petition being granted and reviews the Court’s recent record in environmental cases."
The Supreme Court’s Activist, Pro-Corporate Opinions and Case Selection (American Constitution Society Blog, 04/26/10)
Judging the Environment's Glenn Sugameli Guest Post: "understanding how the activist Court has undermined laws that protect ordinary Americans requires that attention must be paid to one-sided decisions whether or not to review environmental and other cases."
Earth Day Highlights Importance of Judicial Nominations, Lawmakers and Advocates Say (American Constitution Society Blog, 04/22/10)
"Federal courts decide the fate of lawsuits that attack safeguards for clean air, clean water, endangered species, and special natural places," Judging the Environment's Glenn Sugameli recently wrote at ACSblog. "Judges must uphold anti-pollution and conservation laws against unjustifiable claims that their enactment exceeded Congress' Commerce Clause authority, and that they take away non-existent 'property rights' to pollute." "Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens's retirement highlights just how much Americans rely on fair and independent judges to uphold and enforce laws that protect people and our environment," Sugameli concludes. EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson echoed Sugameli's sentiments today.
Wednesday round-up (SCOTUSBlog, 04/14/10)
At ACSblog, Glenn Sugameli contends that Stevens’s replacement should be a strong proponent of environmental protections. Jonathan Hiskes of Grist asks “How green are Obama’s potential Supreme Court picks?” and evaluates the environmental records of the three leading candidates.
What the green movement needs from the next Supreme Court justice (Grist, 04/14/10)
"Federal-court watcher Glenn Sugameli suggests two ways President Obama's next Supreme Court nominee can help make the court more ecologically intelligent. Nine years ago Sugameli founded Judging the Environment, a clearinghouse for info on how federal judges (who get lifetime appointments) determine environmental policy. He's also a staff attorney at Defenders of Wildlife,"
Environmentalists Losing Key Supreme Court Ally (Environment (change.org), 04/12/10)
Stevens' successor will "help determine the fate of basic environmental safeguards for decades to come," says Glenn Sugameli, founder of the website Judging the Environment. "Four of the remaining Justices unjustifiably attempted to gut the Clean Air Act’s global warming provisions, and to reinterpret the Constitution to selectively prohibit access to court in the 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA case. In that case, Justice Stevens’s vote was decisive."
Roundup: Lawmakers And Activists On Stevens (National Journal, 04/09/10)
Glenn Sugameli, founder of the Judging the Environment project, wrote that Stevens "has a lengthy, very distinguished, and lasting legacy of upholding laws that safeguard our environment. President Obama's selection of a new justice will help determine the fate of basic environmental safeguards for decades to come."
SUPREME COURT: Stevens to retire at term's end (Greenwire, 04/09/10)
Environmental groups consider Stevens a fairly reliable vote in their favor, said Glenn Sugameli, a federal courts expert and staff attorney at Defenders of Wildlife...."Stevens has a lengthy, very distinguished and lasting legacy of upholding laws that safeguard our environment," Sugameli said. "President Obama's selection of a new justice will help determine the fate of basic environmental safeguards for decades to come."
Interest Groups Weigh In on Stevens (Wall Street Journal, 04/09/10)
Glenn Sugameli, staff attorney for the Judging the Environment website on federal judicial nominations: “Retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has a lengthy, very distinguished, and lasting legacy of upholding laws that safeguard our environment. President Obama’s selection of a new justice will help determine the fate of basic environmental safeguards for decades to come.”
SUPREME COURT: Stevens to decide on retirement next month (Greenwire, 03/16/10)
While environmental groups would lose one of their most reliable supporters, said Glenn Sugameli, a staff attorney at Defenders of Wildlife, they will also lose a justice with "intangibles" -- including a relatively strong rapport with key swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy joined the majority in Massachusetts v. EPA, which provided the legal basis for EPA's emerging effort to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
"Any change on the Supreme Court could help decide the fate of environmental laws for decades to come. The court is very closely split, 5-4, on a number of major environmental issues," Sugameli said. "A new nominee will obviously be much younger and will likely be around to decide issues that nobody's really even thought of yet."
Supreme Court Denies 3 High-Profile Environmental Cases (Greenwire, 02/23/10)
The Supreme Court's decision to pass on the case leaves the Federal Circuit's decision as the precedent for future takings cases involving federal agencies. Because that court is the destination for nearly all appeals on federal claims cases, the ruling carries substantial weight, said Glenn Sugameli, a staff attorney with Defenders of Wildlife.
"A decision at that level is normally final right now, absent Supreme Court review," Sugameli said. If the Supreme Court had stepped in and sided with Rose Acre Farms on the takings claim, he added, "you could end up with all levels of government always erring on the side of not protecting public health."
COURTS: Senate to vote on long-delayed 11th Circuit nominee (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 01/19/10)
Glenn Sugameli, a staff attorney with Defenders of Wildlife, said he has been surprised to see a nominee wait months for confirmation when no one has voiced significant opposition.
"It's a very strange process right now, and it may very well determine the fate of environmental laws for decades to come," Sugameli said.
COURTS: Confirmation shifts 4th Circuit toward Democrats' appointees (Greenwire, 11/10/09)
Mountaintop removal case shows need to fill 4th Circuit vacancies: "Only about half of the court voted in this case," said Glenn Sugameli, a staff attorney with Defenders of Wildlife. "The point of an en banc rehearing is to allow the full court to weigh in on a matter, and the fact that you have this many vacancies and this many recusals on such a significant case shows how the process isn't working." Wilkinson's minority opinion suggests the potential for similar cases to have a different outcome with new additions to the court, Sugameli said.
"All you need is to get to seven. Three new judges could make a difference, let alone five," he said.
SUPREME COURT: Senate confirms Sotomayor, 68-31 (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 08/06/09)
Sotomayor has received near-unanimous support from national, regional and local environmental groups .... "Environmental cases have gained significant importance in the Supreme Court in the last few years," said Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen in a statement released after the vote. "During her confirmation hearings, Senators routinely questioned Judge Sotomayor on her perspective on the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws. It is obvious that environmental issues are receiving much more play and will continue to be major Supreme Court issues in the years to come. It is clear that smart and fair judges are essential to safeguarding our nation's environment and the public health."
Sotomayor Hearings Repeatedly Touched on Enviro Issues (New York Times, 07/17/09)
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor addressed major issues of concern to the environmental community during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings that ended yesterday, shedding some light on how she would approach cases concerning regulatory takings, the Constitution's Commerce Clause, as well as her views on upholding congressional action regarding protective measures such as the Clean Water Act.
"Environmental issues received more play than some may have thought they would during the week," said Glenn Sugameli, senior counsel for Earthjustice.
SUPREME COURT: Specter questions Sotomayor on power-plant case (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 07/16/09)
Earthjustice senior counsel Glenn Sugameli suggested Specter intended to encourage Sotomayor to stand behind her Clean Water Act interpretation "in cases where she is not bound by precedent."
"She implicitly said that the result she would reach would depend on the language of whatever specific Clean Water Act or other statutory provision was involved," Sugameli said.
Sotomayor Defends Opposition to Cost-Benefit Analysis in Fish Kill Case (OMB Watch, 07/16/09)
More than 60 environmental groups signed a letter to the Senate supporting Sotomayor. They said her decision in the fish kill case “reflects well-researched, thorough, and thoughtful legal analysis that probes the statute, its context, legislative history, and judicial precedent to discern and remain true to congressional intent.”
SUPREME COURT: Sotomayor questioned about upholding environmental protections (Environment & Energy (E & E) Daily, 07/15/09)
"Sotomayor's emphasis on paying particular attention to congressional findings was reassuring, as was her stress on deference to Congress in this context and in responding to Senator Cardin's concerns with Supreme Court decisions that he recognized have undermined the Clean Water Act," said Glenn Sugameli, senior counsel for Earthjustice.
Enviros back Sotomayor for Supreme Court (Grist, 07/12/09)
"More than 60 environmental and Native American groups—including the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Greenpeace USA, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for Biological Diversity—have sent a letter [PDF] to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee offering unqualified support for her nomination. ... 'As recent, closely divided decisions demonstrate, the Supreme Court is playing a crucial role in environmental protections,' says Glenn Sugameli, senior policy counsel at Earthjustice."
Get Behind Supreme Court Nominee Sotomayor—60 Green Groups Already Have Yes, she's a strong, Hispanic woman—and she's green, too. (planet green, 07/10/09)
"60 of the nation's top environmental and conservation groups, including EarthJustice, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and the National Wildlife Federation, have drafted a letter voicing their support for Sotomayor....
The groups have written their endorsement because they've surveyed her judicial record and found that she's fair, measured, and thorough in her decisions."
60 Environmental Groups Support Sotomayor for Supreme Court (Environment News Service, 07/09/09)
"Our support for President Obama's nomination of Judge Sotomayor continues," said Trip Van Noppen, president of the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice. "We are pleased that so many environmental groups agree." ... The letter was signed by some of the largest groups in the United States, including the League of Conservation Voters, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace USA, the National Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation and The Wilderness Society. In total, they represent millions of members. ...
Environmental Issues Lose in Supreme Court: Mining Decision is Fifth to Disappoint Activists This Term (Daily Journal [CA] , 06/25/09)
"Addressing the mining case and others, Glenn Sugameli, an attorney with the environmental group Earthjustice, criticized the court for donning 'pro-business blinders' at the expense of other interests. Another example he cited was the 2nd Circuit case, in which the court reversed Judge - and likely future Supreme Court Justice - Sonia Sotomayor, who wrote the lower court opinion in favor of environmental groups. Entergy v. Riverkeeper, DJDAR 4885. ...With the Bush administration out of office, environmentalists are now hoping that the Supreme Court will, as Earthjustice's Sugameli put it, 'apply the same principles' of deference to the Obama administration if the EPA enacts new rules that are more pro-environment."
White House Press Release: What They're Saying About Judge Sotomayor (The White House, 06/19/09)
Earthjustice Said Sotomayor Possessed "Some Of The Strongest Qualifications Of Any Supreme Court Nominee In Many Years," Praised "Invaluable Perspectives" In Environmental Law. "The following statement is from Glenn Sugameli, senior legislative counsel and head of Earthjustice’s judicial nominations project since 2001: "Earthjustice welcomes President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who has some of the strongest qualifications of any Supreme Court nominee in many years, including the most federal judicial experience in 100 years. Judge Sotomayor is well qualified in light of her personal, academic, legal, and judicial experience . Her knowledge, understanding and service as a federal trial and appellate court judge provide invaluable perspectives for deciding environmental protection and related issues, as reflected in her 80-page Riverkeeper v. EPA opinion." [Earthjustice Press Release, 5/26/09]
Judge Sonia Sotomayor: an environmental pragmatist (Examiner, 05/27/09)
Jean Williams, Seattle Environmental Policy Examiner quotes Earthjustice's Glenn Sugameli. Williams concludes: "The choice of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for a place at the U.S. Supreme Court table, is a bold, forwarding thinking choice, to help form a more inclusive, sensible, open-minded, balanced, and diversified American legacy."
Justice Sotomayor? (Deseret News [UT] , 05/26/09)
Jay Evensen's perspectives on the news quotes Earthjustice on Sotomayor nomination.
Bush Fourth Circuit nominees (Blue Commonwealth [VA], 01/26/09)
Earthjustice's Glenn Sugameli on President George W. Bush's disastrous choices for lifetime seats on the Fourth Circuit.
Not so fine (Oakland Tribune [CA] , 01/26/09)
Published letter to the editor from Earthjustice's Glenn Sugameli responding to an editorial and discussing Alito and Roberts, access to courts, clean air and water, and worker rights.
Look Beyond Constitutional Interpretation When Picking Judges (American Constitution Society Blog, 12/22/08)
Commentary by Earthjustice's Glenn Sugameli: "The records of potential and pending judicial nominees on constitutional interpretation are a vital consideration, but far from the only one. Lifetime judges must also be competent, fair and independent, and must fairly interpret and apply the statutes, treaties, and judge-made 'common law' that are at issue in the vast majority of cases."
Poor picks for judges, poor view of Senate role (The Hill, 10/15/08)
Published Letter to the Editor from Earthjustice's Glenn Sugameli: Bush has pressured the Senate to confirm judges who would further political agendas by rewriting our Constitution and laws. Roberts and Alito fell one vote short of gutting basic water and air pollution laws.
Supreme Court Session Had Few Construction Cases (Engineering News-Record, 07/02/08)
Earthjustice's Glenn Sugameli "points to the Exxon Valdez case, as
representing the court¹s more conservative view. 'I think it is a reflection
of a very disturbing trend in four to five of the justices where... they
sometimes put on blinders to the impacts of their decisions on the interests
that Congress intended to protect and instead look at it from the viewpoint
of the regulated party, which Congress intended to control,' Environmental groups are 'very concerned that we really are one vote away from a lot of really very bad decisions'"
RE: “Harry Reid's Handshake” (June 3) (Wall Street Journal, 06/03/08)
Posted comment by Earthjustice's Glenn Sugameli details many ways in which Wall Street Journal Editorial "is inaccurate and misleading."
Bush wants ideological fights, not judges (Politico, 10/08/07)
Glenn Sugameli, Opinion Column: "All too often, President Bush’s previous and current nominees for lifetime federal judgeships have been chosen precisely because their extreme records will reignite ideological battles, ensuring they will not be confirmed at all or without a major fight.... There is a better way. President Bush could respect senators’ “advise and consent” role, forgo needless fights and fill vacancies with mainstream judges."
MINING: OSM says former mine owners not liable for new SMCRA violations (Land Letter, 10/12/06)
"Glenn Sugameli, an attorney for Earthjustice who has litigated coal mining cases in the past, said OSM's regulatory record on mine ownership and control is rife with problems. In some cases, he said, mining companies who violate SMCRA avoid responsibility by dismantling an existing corporation and forming a new one under a different name. In other cases, he said, mining companies will try to disassociate themselves with a problem mine by pinning blame for violations on independent contractors. 'There are real problems here, and they have recurred over and over again,' Sugameli said.
'If those regulations are weakened or loopholes are created that allow companies to avoid responsibility by creating another company, then it eliminates a very vital tool' for enforcing SMCRA, Sugameli added."
Clean Water Act ruling illustrates court's shift (Boston Globe, 06/20/06)
David Baron of Earthjustice , an environmentalist group that filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Army Corps, said he was heartened that Kennedy did not endorse Scalia's more restrictive opinion. There is a majority rejecting this extreme view that Justice Scalia puts forth, that tries to limit the Clean Water Act only to continuously flowing streams," Baron said. ``That's a concept that has never been around before, and a majority of the justices plainly reject it."
Supreme Court to hear wetlands case challenge (USA Today, 02/19/06)
"These federal environmental laws were designed to help keep peace among the states, to give them a way to address upstream pollution problems coming from their neighbors," said Howard Fox, a lawyer for the environmental group Earthjustice. "In Louisiana, pollution comes as far away as Wyoming and Minnesota."
Earthjustice Opposes Alito Nomination (Daily Kos, 12/20/05)
"Today Earthjustice (the law firm for the environment) announced that for the first time in almost 20 years, they are opposing a Supreme Court nominee. Read below to find out why Alito presents a direct threat to the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. And also read how Alito wants to put in place barriers that will prevent average citizens from using the courts to protect themselves and their communities."
Alito's Enviro Past (AlterNet, 11/02/05)
Article extensively quotes Earthjustice's Glenn Sugameli.
Good News: Filibuster Deal Means No Vote On William Myers (Monitor, 05/25/05)
"The decision of moderate senators to reach a compromise that allows them to step back from the brink of all-out partisan 'nuclear' warfare in the United States Senate is a victory for democracy, and for our nation's protections for clean air, clean water, and special natural places," said Glenn Sugameli, who heads the Judging the Environment project for the nonprofit law firm Earthjustice.
"The fact that William Myers will not be allowed to be confirmed shows how important environmental protections have become to the issue of maintaining fair and independent courts," Sugameli said.... "Earthjustice will continue to strongly oppose the nominations of Pryor, Owen, and Brown, and urge the Senate to reject them," Sugameli said. "Based on their records, these nominees still do not deserve lifetime seats on the federal bench."
Bush's vision: a new environment (Seattle Times [WA] , 11/12/04)
Quotes Judging the Environment's Glenn Sugameli on impact of judicial nominations "particularly on the U.S. Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit."
Court and Spark: Bush nominates eco-hostile lobbyist to federal appeals court (Grist, 02/10/04)
Earthjustice's Glenn Sugameli on William Myers nomination: the committee took up "a fundamental question of American justice: Is a man who has advanced an absolutist ideological viewpoint throughout his entire career fit to be a federal judge?" (Sugameli has compiled info on the professional track records of Myers and other Bush judicial nominees on Earthjustice's Judging the Environment webpage.)
Myers draws heavy fire at hearing: Sen. Kerry opposes Ninth Circuit Court nominee (Casper Star Tribune [WY] , 02/06/04)
TED MONOSON: "Democratic Sen. John Kerry on Thursday called on President Bush to withdraw William Myers' nomination to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.... "He is the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination," Earthjustice senior legislative council [counsel] Glenn Sugameli said. "Democratic senators will not automatically fall in line, but they will be careful about taking a position that undercuts him.""
Interior proposes revisions to ownership and control rules (Greenwire, 01/06/04)
Article quotes Earthjustice's Glenn Sugameli stating, "But environmentalists said the rules would undercut a mechanism that has been vital in protecting the environment. "This is one of the very few effective ways that Interior forces the cleanup of abandoned or problem sites."
Bush to revive push for conservatives on federal bench (Seattle Times [WA] , 11/07/02)
""We also have concerns with people already on the courts who have extreme views that threaten basic protections for the environment and public health," said Glenn Sugameli, an attorney "
ESA took Calif. water rights, Claims Court judge rules (Endangered Species & Wetlands Report, 05/01/01)
Glenn Sugameli was highly critical of Wiese’s reasoning, noting the absence of any other decisions like it. “If you expand physical takings to this sort of regulatory context, where do you stop?” he asked. “Even courts that have been more receptive to regulatory takings have been very reluctant to expand physical takings, because you can lead to absolute rules. “I don’t think a number of grounds that the judge relies upon have clear stopping points,” he said. For example, a landowner who is prevented from cutting down a tree that serves as habitat for a listed species could claim a physical taking. The judge “gets around the parcel-as-a-whole issue” by concluding that the water limitations constitute a physical taking, Sugameli said. He also avoids any inquiry into whether the plaintiffs possessed reasonable investment-backed expectations.
Westerly Property-Rights Battle Lands In Supreme Court (Day [CT] , 04/08/01)
“You[r] right to throw your fist ends at my nose,” said Glenn Sugameli, ... “The threat of losing these wetlands poses a real danger to the entire community, and Mr. Palazzolo's title to his property never included the right to do harm to the community.”
Disputes cloud Norton's nomination to lead Interior (Houston Chronicle, 01/18/01)
"property rights arguments often are used to justify development on and near federal lands, said Glenn Sugameli, an attorney ...
"Whoever is interior secretary will have enormous authority over public lands and resources and will make decisions that affect everyone's property rights, and we think it's critical to make them with an eye on the interests of everyone downstream, downwind and downhill, remembering the public's resources," he said."
Property Rights´ Advocates Dealt Major Blow by Court (National Wildlife, 02/01/00)
"This decision is a major setback for special interests that want to use legislation and litigation to make environmental regulations too expensive to enforce," says Glenn Sugameli
Forests, parks also at risk (Charleston Gazette [WV] , 12/26/99)
"Glen[n] Sugameli, a lawyer with the National Wildlife Federation, said OSM should make coal companies prevent subsidence damage, not just compensate citizens for it.
Sugameli also noted that the repair and compensation provisions apply to private homes and water supplies.
"What about schools, churches, graveyards, national parks and all of those areas?" Sugameli said.
"There are a lot of other places that just don't have those protections," he said.
"You should prevent the damage from happening. OSM has that authority, and they should exercise it.""
Court Upholds Right To Deny Permits to Mine Violators (National Wildlife, 10/01/99)
"This ruling prevents rogue companies that have refused to comply with the law from committing more violations and encourages reclamation of mined land," says NWF attorney Glenn Sugameli, who argued the case on the side of the government. "The court recognized that companies should not be allowed to mine if they are responsible for acid-mine drainage that is destroying streams or for other violations that continue to take a toll on the environment."
Homes and water supplies protected (Observer-Reporter [PA], 09/02/99)
Frank Yakopin Letter to the Editor: "The [appeals] court rejected an industry argument that requiring a mining company to compensate homeowners for damage would constitute a 'taking of the company's property rights.' The National Wildlife Federation, Glen[n] Sugameli and the people of the federation's staff should be congratulated for a job well done."
Appeals court upholds coal subsidence regulations (Charleston Gazette [WV] , 04/30/99)
""The court properly rejected this outrageous industry lawsuit that would have undermined homeowners' property, safety and environment to protect corporate interests," said Glenn Sugameli, a lawyer for the National Wildlife Federation.
The wildlife federation, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental group, intervened in the lawsuit filed by the coal industry over the subsidence rules."
THE takings ISSUE: Sportsmen take notice! The environmental battle of the century may be at hand. (Field & Stream, 04/01/99)
John McCoy: Glenn Sugameli, argued that landowners could employ [Sen. Phil] Gramm's bill to avoid compliance with game laws. "If you wanted to, you could open a game ranch and charge someone $100,000 to come and shoot bald eagles, and Gramm's bill would allow it to happen, because the Eagle Protection Act would be considered a 'takings,'" Sugameli said. ... Sugameli lamented the public's ignorance on takings-related matters. "We need to do a better job of informing the public," he said. "Anyone who truly supports the idea of property rights for average citizens should oppose takings bills." Sugameli said politicians, too, are only now becoming aware of the implciaitons of takings-related legislation. he predicted that as elected officials become more familiar with the issue's political potential, debate will heat up considerably.
Mchigan Court Affirms RIght To Protect Wetland (International Wildlife, 07/01/98)
"This is an importnat decision that brings Michigan back in line with the rest of the country in recognizing that property rights do not guarantee an owner the right to use every inch of his land at the expense of the environment," says NWF Attorney Glenn Sugameli.
Property rights legislation may threaten environmental protections. (BioScience, 06/01/98)
Glenn Sugameli, an attorney with the National Wildlife Federation, agrees. "I'm convinced it's a disastrous, draconian bill that would have major impacts on wetlands, endangered species, and a lot of other resources that are important," he says.
Senate Committee Passes Measure Aiding Developers In Property Disputes (Associated Press, 02/27/98)
"The one reason that this bill exists is the National Association of Home Builders," insists Glenn Sugameli, a lawyer ... . Environmentalists said that the bill is an indirect attempt to "run roughshod" over local environmental protection efforts after property rights advocates failed two year ago to win compensation for restrictions that protect wetlands and endangered species. Among others strongly opposed to the bill are the National Governors Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and 40 state attorneys general."
Victories Mount in War Against Takings Laws (National Wildlife, 10/01/97)
"In effect, these bills tell corporations and developers that unless they are paid, they do not have to obey anti-pollution and other laws that protect our homes and children," says NWF counsel Glenn Sugameli. ... On the national level, NWF is fighting a revived version of a takings bill that failed in the last Congress. If passed, it would create a new multi-billion dollar taxpayer-funded entitlement which would bust the budget and create a corporate right to pollute, Sugameli says.
Hatch introduces takings compensation bill: Utah senator's effort faces uphill battle (Endangered Species & Wetlands Report, 06/01/97)
"But Glenn Sugameli, counsel with the Nationa Wilidlife Federation, called the effort 'the last gasp of the radical, failed takings concept.' Sugameli said the bill is virtually identical to one introduced by Hatch in the last Congress, which garnered 34 sponsors. By contrast, only 10 other senators had signed on to Hatch's bill as of June 9. . . . Sugameli, however, said the bill 'would destroy the property rights of homeowners by giving developers a right to profit at the expense of the property, health and safety of their neighbors.' He called it more 'extreme than takings proposlas that were rejected by 60 percent of the voters in statewide referenda in Arizona in 1994 and Washington State in 1995.'"
Proposed Underground Mining Rule Threatens Homes, Parks (International Wildlife, 05/01/97)
"This plan would deny the owners of 1.8 million homes the right to decide whether to allow mining under their homes, and if so, when, and subject to what safeguards, says Glenn Sugameli, NWF counsel. . . . The public has the right to comment on this proposal because of a lawsuit NWF won in 1993. "We fought hard to give people the right to speak out," says Sugameli. "It's important now that they exercise that right and urge Interior to withdraw this proposed rule."
RULING HELPS COAL COMPANIES THAT BROKE THE LAW (Charleston Gazette [WV] , 02/23/97)
"Glenn Sugameli, an attorney with the National Wildlife Federation,
said the current OSM rule serves two important purposes. It forces
companies responsible for past problems to clean them up before
getting another permit. And it forces outlaw companies out of the
mining business altogether.
Without the rule, Sugameli said, companies with violations would be
able to set up subsidiaries that would now qualify for permits. "That
doesn't make any sense," he said.
Sugameli said it would be nice if Congress filled in the gap in the
law, but he said it's doubtful whether the current Congress would do
`BAD' COAL OPERATORS GET BREAK (Associated Press, 02/12/97)
""The ownership and control rules have been the single most important tool in ensuring that companies clean up existing violations in order to get new permits, and to prevent irresponsible operators from mining and destroying and leaving unreclaimed new sites," Glenn Sugameli, an attorney
ENVIRONMENTAL MINE REGULATION IS STRUCK DOWN (Lexington Herald-Leader [KY], 02/12/97)
"One of the most powerful means of enforcing federal surface coal-mining laws has been struck down by a federal appeals court. If the ruling is not overturned, environmental regulators will find it more difficult to hold accountable coal companies whose business affiliates have violated the law. This is important because coal companies have a history of setting up complex corporate webs that enable them to escape penalties, environmentalists said." [Quoting Glenn Sugameli]
OSM OFFICIAL DEFENDS MINING RULE CHANGES (Charleston Daily Mail [WV], 01/31/97)
"Glen[n] Sugameli, counsel for the federation, said the Carter and Reagan
administrations interpreted the law to also prohibit underground
The Bush administration attempted to change the law, but the wildlife
federation sued. A federal judge ruled that the agency did not follow
correct procedure, such as allowing for a comment period.
Sugameli said the office could have interpreted the law differently.
As a result, he said more homes and parks will fall victim to
subsidence. Coal companies that have surface mining are tightly
regulated on subsidence, but the same won't be true for deep mines, he
In the next 20 years, the agency estimates that 29,600 homes may be
damaged by the new ruling, Sugameli said. He said the administration
should have sided with homeowners rather than coal operators."
Clinton Pushes Protected-land Mining Changes . (Associated Press, 01/31/97)
"It's a deal with the devil," said ... Glenn Sugameli, who interpreted the twin announcements as saying "We'll protect you against strip mining but not against damage from underground mining."
GOVERNMENT REASSESSING COAL MINERAL RIGHTS (Associated Press, 01/30/97)
KATHERINE RIZZO: "Environmental groups cheered that proposal but decried a companion measure covering underground mining.
``It's a deal with the devil,'' said National Wildlife Federation lawyer Glenn Sugameli, who interpreted the twin announcements as saying ``We'll protect against strip mining but not against damage from underground mining.''"
UNDERGROUND MINING RULE CHANGES BLASTED (Charleston Daily Mail [WV], 01/30/97)
"Glenn Sugameli, counsel to the wildlife federation, said stringent
laws already cover surface mining in so-called protected areas. But he
said the Clinton administration's proposal would allow subsidence that
results from underground mining in the protected areas.
For example, he said the changes would allow subsidence resulting from
underground mining in such areas as the New River Gorge National Park,
the Monongalia National Forest and several state parks.
He said OSM figures show that 29,600 homes would be damaged in the
next 20 years.
The new rules apply to coal operators who already have a legal claim
to underground coal. Sugameli said previous administrations, including
President Reagan's - prohibited subsidence in the protected areas."
Defeat of Latest Takings Bill Is Temporary Gain (Salt Lake Tribune [UT], 07/30/96)
"Speaking at the Outdoor Writers Association of America conference in Duluth, Minn., National Wildlife Federation lawyer Glenn Sugameli, Washington, D.C., said takings bills are a reaction to laws that restrain inappropriate uses of private property.
"These laws were enacted to protect against threats to private property, people and public resources, from the Dust Bowl to Love Canal," he said. "Examples abound. Wetlands laws prevent pollution, flooding and loss of recreational and commercial fishing jobs. Soil-conservation laws prevent disastrous effects on land, water and surrounding development. Watershed-protection laws preserve fresh water sources. Takings bills favor profits at the expense of neighboring homeowners and the public, essentially reversing established law.""
DEBATE GIVES NEW TAKE ON CONSERVATION AND PROPERTY RIGHTS (Buffalo News [NY], 06/20/96)
"On Tuesday, the annual conference of the Outdoor Writers Association of America heard a debate between the Defenders of Property Rights, the lobbying organization that has helped promote the legislation, and the National Wildlife Federation, which is against the bills. ... Glenn P. Sugamelli, the National Wildlife Federation counsel for conservation programs, documented other incidents, including a 1995 case where a West Virginia strip mine was threatening to undermine hundreds of homes and another strip-mining incident when the collapse of a coal company refuse pile that had dammed a stream took 125 lives and destroyed 1,000 homes. ... such laws, the conservation lawyer said, would hamstring federal agencies and cause them to look over their shoulders, fearing their budgets would be diminished by settlement claims. In effect, clean air or clean water regulations would be put on hold, along with the Endangered Species Act, he said. And with 24 states now espousing such laws, it could mean local zoning laws might be affected. ... "The Supreme Court ruled against them," Sugameli said. "They supported the concept that wildlife belongs to everyone and rejected the feudal concept that the landed aristocracy own and control all wildlife." Many of the assembled newspaper and magazine writers here are pretty conservative and against government spending, sloth and bureaucratic paper-shuffling. Yet many seemed reluctant to go along with the idea that property rights must always take precedence over saving a duck marsh, or a trout stream."
2 hang back on payment for land use (Advocate [Baton Rouge, LA], 02/28/95)
"If, as expected, Tauzin re-introduces essentially the same property-rights bill he has proposed in the past "we will oppose it just as strongly as the Judiciary Committee bill," said NWF's Glenn Sugameli.
Both the Tauzin legislation and the Judiciary Committee bill hinder the government's ability to issue environment and public-safety regulations, said Sugameli, and both bills "have the same problems with cost, with bureaucracy, with red tape, with threat to the homeowner from flooding if a wetland is filled in and your house is downstream."
Something closer to what he called a real compromise may emerge from a group of moderate Republicans, Sugameli said."
Seeing red over green in the Contract (Washington Times, 01/22/95)
"In pursuing regulatory reform, "extremists are trying to take away the ability of Americans to act through their government to protect neighboring property owners and the public welfare," according to National Wildlife Federation attorney Glenn Sugameli."
A Question of Property Rights and Wrongs: Do Americans really want their neighbors to be able to do whatever they want with their land? (National Wildlife, 10/01/94)
Doug Harbrecht: "That's what 'property rights' has always meant for conservationists: protections for average Americans and their property," says National Wildlife Federation attorney Glenn Sugameli. . . . "Extremists are trying to take away the ability of Americans to act through their government to protect neighboring private-property owners and the public welfare," says NWF's Sugameli. . . . .In other words, says NWF attorney Sugameli, "Property ownership does not include the right to flood your neighbors." . . . . "I am convinced that there is no actual case of an American poster child for the property rights movement," says NWF's Sugameli. NWF has examined hundreds of such purported cases. "And every single case either falls apart or doesn't exist at all," he says.
Environmental regulations spark backlash (Ocala Star Banner [FL] , 03/22/94)
"The property owners bill of rights is like saying that i should be paid because I can't put a hazardous waste landfill in the backyard of my suburban property, and I can't put a strip joint in my front yard and an apartment tower in my side yard," said Glenn Sugameli, "Noone has the right to squueze the last penny from every inch of their property."
Marshes and Money: Taking Uncle Sam to Court; Cover Story: The shifting ground of property rights. (costs of implementing federal regulations) (Insight on the News, 08/23/93)
"Environmentalists see [Chief Judge Loren] Smith as quietly altering the balance of power between the regulators and the regulated. They fear that the judge is, in the words of one lawyer, "pulling rabbits out of a hat for the radical right wing'" Glenn P Sugameli, counsel of the National Wildlife Federation [PHOTO], says, "If the approach Judge Smith takes prevails, it would impose such costs on the government that it could not reasonably control threats to private property and public health." ... Environmentalists want to hold this line, barring compensation except in rare cases of total confiscation as in Lucas's case. Regulations that greatly limit the use of property, but leave the owner with some marginal right, should be enough to deny compensation, in the eyes of some environmentalists. The "recreational value of land for hunting can defeat a taking" claim, the National Wildlife Federation's Sugameli argued in congressional hearings in May 1992. But the composition of the Supreme Court has changed since the Penn Central decision, and given the right case, the ruling may be over-turned. (In Loveladies Harbor, Smith laid the groundwork for such a ruling.) "Whatever is taken is compensable," Smith says, pointing out that if a distinction such as Sugameli's were applied literally, the government could bulldoze your kitchen and not pay compensation on the grounds that you weren't left homeless."
Whose Land is it Anyway? Cover story: Out to change the law of the land. (property rights movement) (Insight on the News, 05/02/93)
"Land rights activists fielded no professional lobbyists, but environmentalists pulled out all the stops. Halting the land rights act was hailed as a major environmentalist victory. State property rights efforts "come directly from the radical agenda of [Reagan Attorney General] Ed Meese," says Glenn Sugameli, counsel to the Public Lands and Energy Division of the National Wildlife Federation [PHOTO]. "Commercial interests were cynically exploiting property owners' concerns.""
CHANGE IN U.S. POLICY MAY ALLOW STRIP MINING OF NATIONAL LANDS (Columbus Dispatch [OH], 09/29/92)
"She and other Department of Interior officials would not say yesterday whether the new definition was sparked by the Belville case, but Glen[n] Sugameli, an attorney with the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, said he believes it was. His organization, together with the Sierra Club and the League of Ohio Sportsmen had entered third-party briefs opposing Belville.
Sugameli said the proposed buy-back plan does not constitute much protection, given the likely price of the land and the federal budget problems. He said the reason Congress provided protection for parks and other federal lands was because the lands were considered too sensitive to allow strip mining and then to count on reclamation efforts to restore them.
''We said, 'You can't do this. This would devastate the land,' '' Sugameli said."
Claims Court Crusader: Chief Judge Smith Puts Property Rights Up Front (Legal Times, 08/17/92)
Tom Castleton: "'He's been getting a lot of publicity,' says Glenn Sugameli, counsel for the National Wildlife Federation, 'because his decisions are on the edge-- or beyond the edge.' . . . Sugameli of the National Wildlife Federation points out that Smith proudly said at a recent Federalist Society conference that his legal heroes were failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork and [Richard] Epstein. . . . Sugameli is appalled at Smith's admiration for hte scholar. 'Now, for ht eman who is chief judge is the United States Claims COurt to say that one of his heroes is Richard Epstein, who has the ultimate extreme view on what is a taking, and that view is that the boday of 20th-century legislation is a taking, is shocking,' Sugameli says. As a prime example of Smith's approach, Sugameli and others point to Loceladies Harbor, Inc. v. United States. . . . Sugameli says that in Loveladies Harbor, Smith chose not to guage the Clean Water ACt's effect of the entire 250 acres, 199 of which have been devleoped. . . . Sugameli, for instance, points out that Smith 'seems to be focusing very, very heavily on the private costs to the landowner and not adequately weighing the concerns of the public, adjacent landowners and others who are severely injured if development results in flooding or pollution.'"
Beach ruling may affect La. wetlands (Advocate [Baton Rouge, LA], 07/05/92)
Joan McKinney: "Glenn Sugameli, a regulation expert ... said, "it really doesn't have any impact in the real world. There will be precious few cases when a regulation reduces property usage to zero . . . They didn't overturn any existing law . . . The Supreme Court rejected the extreme argument that there is no 'nuisance exception' under the Fifth Amedment. It retained the 'nuisance exception,' even when the regulation reduces the use of property to zero." "And, at least up to the point of denying all use of property, the state can come up with new rules for new environmental circumstances," he said."
'Just Compensation:' The little-known federal Claims Court is trying to slam the brakes on environmental and other regulations by applying the 5th Amendment dictate that payment be made when private property is taken for public use. (National Journal, 06/13/92)
W. John Moore: "'The decisions from Judge Loren Smith are extremely disturbing because they really do misinterpret existing law. They find takings where, in our opinion, none exist,' Glenn Sugameli, a lawyer with the National Wildlife Federaiton in Washington, added. . . . "But Sugameli on the National Wildlife Federation said it is too early for property rights avocates to declare victory. According to Sugameli and other takings experts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit appears ready to overturn at least one of the recent Claims Court decisions. And a recent procedural ruling by the appellate court has prompted the Justice Department to ask the Claims Court to reconsider another of its recent rulings, he added. . . . 'A trend that is disturbing may be righting itself, and that would be a welcome development,' Sugameli said."
If You Cite the Bible, At Least Read It First (Legal Times, 03/30/92)
Glenn P. Sugameli Letter: Richards cites "Noah: an early species-ist (saved only two of every bird and animal vs. a whole family of human beings)." According to Genesis, however, Noah took into the ark seven pairs of every "clen" bird and animal, one pair of every "unclean" bird and animal, and four pairs of human beings (Noah and his wife and their three sons and their wives). Genesis 7:203, 13.
U.S. SOLICITOR IN SPOTLIGHT AT `GOD SQUAD' HEARINGS (Oregonian, 01/13/92)
"Glenn Sugameli says Sansonetti's decision essentially sidestepped the department's commitment to write rules restricting underground coal-mining that causes the ground to sink beneath homes, schoolyards, churchyards, cemeteries and within national parks and wildlife refuges. In July, Sansonetti issued an opinion that the Surface Mining Act of 1977 did not apply to subsidence of the ground beneath underground mines. Sugameli called the opinion ``outrageous, illegal and unjustified.''"
ACTIVISTS FEAR EFFECTS OF STRIP-MINING LAW (Deseret News [UT] , 09/02/91)
Glenn Sugameli said the proposal would illegally strip the courts of the responsibility for deciding what constitutes "taking" of private property and would turn that responsibility over to bureaucrats, who are "not equipped to make those decisions. They are not experts in constitutional law."
Quayle's Quiet Coup (National Journal, 07/06/91)
Kirk Victor: "I't gives the Attorney General virtual carte blanche to veto or indefinitely delay any federal regulation on any issue, no matter how badly that regulation is needed to protect people's rights to breathe clean air, to have the health and safety of food assured and a wide variety of other rights," said Glenn P. Sugameli, counsel for public lands at the National Wildlife Federation.'"
REVIEW SET FOR MINING AT HISTORIC W. VA. SITE (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [PA], 01/14/91)
"WE Deegans and Glen[n] Sugameli told state Energy Commissioner Woody Wayland in a letter Friday that planners have taken a "myopic view of the historic ..."
HEARINGS TO ADDRESS BLAIR PRESERVATION (Charleston Gazette [WV] , 01/13/91)
Details how Glenn Sugameli from the National Wildlife Federation "wrote to Wayland, questioning Massey's plans to strip mine"
'EXISTING RIGHTS' BATTLE HEATS UP (Lexington Herald-Leader [KY], 04/01/90)
Quotes Glenn Sugameli on unjustifiable claimed right to strip mine an area of the Wayne National Forest in Ohio