When Recusals Kill The Quorum

Law360 (July 7, 2010, 2:27 PM EDT) -- On May 28, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit released its ruling in the landmark climate change lawsuit Comer v. Murphy Oil.

This lawsuit by Mississippi property owners against numerous oil, coal and chemical companies, alleging that the defendants’ activities contributed to climate change and magnified the effects of Hurricane Katrina, was dismissed by the district court on political question and standing grounds.

On appeal, a panel of the Fifth Circuit reversed on Oct. 16, 2009, holding that the plaintiffs did have standing and that the political question doctrine did not apply. The defendants filed a petition...

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