This Comment examines the recently rejected motion to dismiss in League of Conservation Voters v. Trump and its potential to serve as a roadmap for environmental organizations seeking to challenge regulatory rollbacks by the Trump administration. In 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order reversing the designation of 128 million acres of ocean as protected from oil and gas leasing. The League of Conservation Voters, along with other environmental activists, sued to enjoin the rollback, and administration officials subsequently filed a motion to dismiss. This Comment focuses on the issue of Article III standing in the case, wherein the plaintiffs must allege (1) an injury in fact that is (2) fairly traceable to the challenged conduct and (3) that a favorable judicial decision will likely redress. Prior to League of Conservation Voters, case law had not established injury in fact on the basis of potential harm to public lands caused by government deregulation. Thus, the ruling that such an injury can be established—even over an area 128 million acres in size—reflects an opportunity for environmental activists attempting to stop rollbacks.
Nick Buchta & Quentin Jorgensen, League of Conservation Voters V. Trump: A Potential Blueprint to Challenging Environmental Policy Rollbacks, 36 Alaska Law Review 109-118 (2019)
Available at: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/alr/vol36/iss1/6