Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1987

Abstract

President Reagan's appointment of Antonin Scalia to the United States Supreme Court raises concern among liberals that Justice Scalia will help lead the Court away from a number of liberal positions toward a new conservatism. The Reagan Administration's requirement that judicial appointments advance the Administration's preference for judicial restraint and strict constructionism enhances this concern. These new executive requirements mean that federal courts should accord greater authority to the democratically elected branches of the government. Justice Scalia's primary areas of study, administrative law and separation of powers, reflect his adherence to judicial self-restraint.

One aspect of administrative law and separation of powers that could have a great negative influence on environmental litigation is the doctrine of standing, especially as standing relates to obtaining judicial review of administrative decisions. Scalia has advocated a position on standing that could severely limit the ability of litigants to obtain judicial review where they allege an environmental injury.

This Comment focuses on the possibility that Scalia will be able to erect a stricter standing doctrine inimical to environmental interests. Section II examines the doctrine of standing and the favored position that courts have granted environmental litigants. In Section III, this Comment discusses how Scalia, at least theoretically, is opposed to such a favored position for environmental litigants. Section IV analyzes Scalia's position on standing as manifested in his opinions on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Finally, this Comment concludes by discussing how these factors, combined with Scalia's philosophy of judicial self-restraint, illuminate the possible position Scalia will take in environmental cases that come before the Supreme Court.

The overall purpose of this Comment is to examine both Scalia's theoretical writings and his judicial opinions to explore how the practicalities of judicial decisionmaking have modified Scalia's scholarly positions. In this manner, the Comment explores the tensions inherent between the twin roles of scholar and jurist. In conjunction with this analysis, this Comment also examines how Scalia is still able to advance his theoretical and philosophical beliefs concerning judicial self-restraint. In this way, this Comment highlights what factors go into Scalia's decisionmaking. This Comment thus provides a framework for analyzing how Scalia will approach particular cases that come before the Supreme Court.

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