Search for...
Follow @ontheissuesorg
OnTheIssuesLogo

Clarence Thomas on Energy & Oil

Supreme Court Justice (nominated by Pres. Bush Sr. 1991)


No disclosure needed by Cheney energy task force.

Justice Thomas wrote the concurrence on Cheney vs. DC Court on Jun 24, 2004:

Court rules, 7-2, in the case of V.P. Dick Cheney v. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia: The Sierra Club and Judicial Watch sued Cheney and his energy task force, which was made up of government officials and advised by executives in the energy industry, to try to make them reveal details about the group's meetings. Cheney said the group was shielded by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which allows groups made up of government officials to keep the proceedings secret. The Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, however, said the executives were active enough in the group to be considered de facto members.

HELD: Kennedy, joined by Rehnquist, Stevens, O'Connor, Breyer

The court says the appeals court acted "prematurely" when it denied Cheney's request to keep confidential the details of his energy-task force meetings. The Court ruled that the case should be returned to the lower court for a new decision on disclosure.

After the case was returned to the lower court, on May 9, 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Vice President's Energy Task Force did not have to comply with disclosure.

CONCURRENCE: Concurring in part; dissenting in part: by Thomas; joined by Scalia

Clarence Thomas and Scalia would have had the case end there with Cheney not having to disclose any information.

DISSENT: Dissent by Ginsburg; joined by Souter

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was joined by David H. Souter in dissenting, arguing the Supreme Court should let the case proceed in the District Court.
Source: Supreme Court case 04-CHENEY argued on Apr 27, 2004

Federal statutes displace federal common law on CO2.

Justice Thomas joined the concurrence on AMERICAN ELECTRIC v. CONNECTICUT on Jun 20, 2011:

Joined by the courts into one suit, eight states, New York City, and three nonprofit land trusts filed actions against five major electric power companies claiming their carbon dioxide discharges, by contributing to global warming, have interfered with public rights in violation of federal common law, or of state tort law.

HELD: Delivered by GINSBURG, joined by ROBERTS, SCALIA, KENNEDY, BREYER & KAGAN

Since four members of the Court hold that at least some of the plaintiffs have standing, though four others would find there is not standing, the Court will address the merits. Though a federal common law regarding air pollution has developed where once there was none, the passage by Congress of the Clean Air Act and the agreement of the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions have occupied this field of law and have displaced the federal common law. The fact that the EPA has not yet issued rules does not allow the Court to issue decisions under the federal common law that are binding until the EPA does act, since Congress has shown its intent to have the EPA make these decisions. The process the Clean Air Act sets out is that the EPA, using its expertise, shall issue in the first instance regulations. Parties dissatisfied with those regulations may seek review of the EPA's actions in the US Court of Appeals. The possibility of state law claims for pollution will depend upon the preemptive effect of the Clean Air Act. As the preemption issue was not briefed for this Court, the state law claims are remanded for further consideration by the lower courts.

CONCURRED: ALITO concurs; joined by THOMAS

Assuming for the purpose of this decision that this Court in Massachusetts v. EPA interpreted the Clean Air Act correctly, this Court's analysis of the displacement of federal common law by Congressional enactment is also correct.

Sotomayor recused herself.
Source: Supreme Court case 11-AE-CT argued on Apr 19, 2011

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Energy & Oil.
  • Click here for a profile of Clarence Thomas.
  • Wiki Profile of Clarence Thomas.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Clarence Thomas.
  • Click here for AmericansElect responses by Clarence Thomas.
  • Click here for all excerpts for Clarence Thomas.
Other Justices on Energy & Oil: Clarence Thomas on other issues:
Samuel Alito
Stephen Breyer
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Elena Kagan
Anthony Kennedy
John Roberts
Antonin Scalia
Sonia Sotomayor
Clarence Thomas

Former Justices:
David Souter
Sandra Day O'Connor
William Rehnquist
John Paul Stevens

Party Platforms:
Democratic Platform
Green Platform
Libertarian Platform
Natural Law Platform
Reform Platform
Republican Platform
Tea Platform
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty

Page last updated: Mar 08, 2014