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Greenhouse gases briefing order

The Supreme Court on Tuesday spelled out new, tighter limits on the written briefs that may be filed for the Court’s review of government regulations of so-called greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other fixed sources.  The briefing order is here. The lead case is Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency.

The order allows up to six briefs by the groups challenging the EPA, but limits the total number of words allowed to 45,000 — compared to the 75,000 limit that they had proposed in a letter to the Court on October 22.  Any entity that is supporting the challengers may file a brief of up to 6,000 words each.

The U.S. Solicitor General, representing EPA, will be allowed to file a brief of 15,000 words — the amount proposed.  But state governments and environmental groups supporting the EPA will be allowed one brief each totaling 10,000 pages — less than the 15,000 proposed for each.   Reply briefs may not exceed a total of 18,000 words.

The Court has not yet set the specific date for hearing the case, although it has told counsel that it will be sometime in the February sitting, which begins February 23 and continues for two weeks.  The six petitions that were granted have been consolidated for one hour of oral argument.

In an e-mail request to attorneys in the cases, on October 15, the Court had asked them to “jointly submit a briefing proposal that will keep the number of briefs to a minimum and avoid repetitive arguments.”  The joint letter of counsel can be read here.

Recommended Citation: Lyle Denniston, Greenhouse gases briefing order, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 29, 2013, 3:04 PM),