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BP P.L.C. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20086
Nos. 19-1189, (U.S., 05/17/2021)

The U.S. Supreme Court held, 7-1, that an appellate court erred in concluding it lacked jurisdiction to consider all of energy companies' grounds for removing to federal court a climate liability lawsuit brought against them. The city of Baltimore sued in state court, arguing the companies concealed the environmental impacts of fossil fuels they promoted. The companies removed the suit to federal court invoking a number of grounds for federal jurisdiction, including the federal officer removal statute. A district court concluded that none of the companies' grounds justified retaining federal jurisdiction, and remanded back to state court. The Fourth Circuit concluded it only had authority to review the part of the remand order decided under the federal officer removal statute, and thus held it lacked jurisdiction to review the district court's rejection of the companies' other grounds. The high court held that the appellate court erred in concluding it was not permitted to review all of the district court's order. It vacated the appellate court's decision and remanded for further proceedings. Gorsuch, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C.J., and Thomas, Breyer, Kagan, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, JJ., joined. Sotomayor, J., filed a dissenting opinion. Alito, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.