Larry Ebner Quoted About Importance of Supreme Court Climate-Change Case

January 20, 2021

On January 19, 2021 the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in BP v. Baltimore, a case in which the Atlantic Legal Foundation filed an amicus brief arguing that climate-change damages suits belong – if anywhere – in federal, not state, courts. The case involves a procedural issue which has significant  implications regarding whether climate-change suits filed by state or local governments can be transferred by energy company defendants from state to federal courts. Read more case background here.

Capital Appellate Advocacy founder Larry Ebner, who serves as the Foundation’s Senior Vice President & General Counsel and authored its amicus brief, is quoted in two Inside Climate News articles about the BP v. Baltimore case. In the first article, which previewed the Supreme Court hearing, Larry was quoted as follows:

Larry Ebner, an attorney for the Atlantic Legal Foundation, an organization promoting free enterprise that filed a friend of the court brief supporting the oil and gas industry, said that the case is not just about the scope of appellate review.

“The more fundamental question is whether climate-change tort suits belong in the federal court system, or in 50 separate and different state court systems,” he said.

“The city cannot pretend that its climate change allegations are local in nature. The city’s alleged causes of action are unavoidably nationwide or global in scope.”

In the second article, published shortly after the Supreme Court hearing, Larry stated:

“The Justices know that their ruling in this case may have tremendous influence on the course of pending and future climate change suits brought by state and local governments.” 

ALF’s amicus brief in the case aligns with one of the Foundation’s missions – advocating for civil justice in key cases that affect free enterprise. Larry indicated that a decision in the Baltimore case is expected prior to the end of June.