Supreme Court sends 3 climate change cases against oil and gas companies back to lower courts

Supreme Court
In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo an American flag waves in front of the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Supreme Court punted on a case over whether the Trump administration can exclude people in the country illegally from the count used for divvying up congressional seats.

  • The US Supreme Court asked lower courts on Monday to reconsider three climate change cases filed against oil and gas companies.
  • The request was made in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on BP PLC v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore.
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The US Supreme Court sent three climate change cases filed against oil and gas companies back to lower courts on Monday.

In an opinion shared by SCOTUS Blog, the Supreme Court asked lower courts to reconsider the cases in the wake of its decision on BP PLC v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore.

Last week the Supreme Court ruled in favor of BP and other oil and gas companies in a lawsuit filed by the city of Baltimore that sought monetary damages for the cost global climate change, Reuters reported.

This is a developing story. Please check back for more updates.

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Supreme Court rules Facebook’s automated text system doesn’t count as robocalling, handing major win to people who want to spam your phone

Supreme Court
In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo an American flag waves in front of the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Supreme Court punted on a case over whether the Trump administration can exclude people in the country illegally from the count used for divvying up congressional seats.

US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Facebook on Thursday in a case about what counts as an “automatic telephone dialing system” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The Supreme Court said in the ruling that Facebook’s text alerts on suspicious logins do not qualify as robocalls, and shot down a proposed class action lawsuit accusing the social media company of violating the 1991 act that was put in place in an attempt to curb telemarketing calls.

Billions of robocalls hit American cell phones every month, and the ruling in favor of Facebook can be seen as a major win for telemarketers.

The lawsuit was filed 2015 in California federal court by Noah Duguid, a Montana resident who accused Facebook of violating the TCPA’s restriction on using an automatic telephone dialing system to send him unsolicited text messages, despite not having a Facebook account.

The decision from the Supreme Court on Thursday was unanimous, and authored by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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The US Supreme Court rejects GOP bid to overturn the 2020 election

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President Donald Trump arrives to speak at an event on “protecting seniors with diabetes” in the Rose Garden White House, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Washington.

  • The US Supreme Court has rejected a bid by Texas and other Republican-led states to overturn the 2020 election.
  • In an opinion issued Friday, the court said Texas lacked standing and had not demonstrated a right to interfere in how other states administer their elections.
  • The effort to throw out the vote in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia was supported by a majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
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The nation’s highest court has rejected an effort by US President Donald Trump and other Republicans to overturn the 2020 election.

In a brief order issued Friday, the US Supreme Court said a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was denied a hearing due to a lack of standing.

Paxton and other Republican attorneys general, as well as a majority of those elected to the House of Representatives, had argued the popular vote in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia should be disregarded over unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and that GOP-led state legislatures should be allowed to select pro-Trump electors instead.

That demand – an unprecedented request for judges to intervene and overrule a democratic outcome – had prompted some dissent among some, but certainly not all, conservatives.

“That doesn’t sound like a very Republican argument to me,” Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said in an interview airing Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” citing federalism and the right of states to administer their own elections.

That argument was echoed by the Supreme Court. “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections,” the justices wrote.

Democrats, meanwhile, continue to sound the alarm. Speaking to The Washington Post, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut warned that, while unlikely to be successful this time around, the legitimization of efforts to subvert democracy bodes ill for the future.

“If this becomes at all normalized more broadly than it already is, they will steal an election two years from now or four years from now,” Murphy said.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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Majority of House Republicans support a lawsuit that aims to overturn the will of voters and hand 2020 election to Trump

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A protester in Pennsylvania holds a sign that reads “Count Every Vote.”

  • A majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives have signed on to an amicus brief asking the US Supreme Court to effectively overturn the results of the 2020 election.
  • The letter asks the Supreme Court to recognize the alleged right of Republican-led legislatures to ignore the popular vote and select electors who will support outgoing President Donald Trump.
  • No evidence of widespread fraud has been presented by the loser of the 2020 election or his allies.
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A majority of House Republicans have formally expressed their opposition to recognizing the democratic outcome of the 2020 election, signing an amicus brief siding with a Texas lawsuit that aims to discard the will of voters in battleground states won by President-elect Joe Biden.

President Donald Trump lost the November election in a relative landslide: 7 million more people voted for his opponent than for him, leaving the outgoing president with 232 votes in the Electoral College to 306 for Biden. But the lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seeks to undo the outcome, specifically by throwing out the votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia, replacing the will of the people with pro-Trump electors appointed by the states’ Republican-led legislatures.

And at least 106 elected Republicans in the House of Representatives agree with that strategy, submitting a brief with the US Supreme Court that “defends the constitutional authority of state legislatures as the only bodies duly authorized to establish the manner by which presidential electors are appointed.”

Outside of those who are retiring, there are members who signed the letter who were returned to office in an election they now claim is illegitimate.

The litigation is highly unlikely to succeed; under the US Constitution, states administer their own elections, Texas provides no say over how they are run in Pennsylvania and vice versa. However, it signals a willingness on the part of many if not most elected Republicans to subvert democracy and their own commitment states’ rights for sheer partisan gain.

No evidence of widespread fraud has been uncovered, either by Trump’s lawyers, his Department of Justice, or Republican officials who oversaw voting in the states at issue, and certainly none sufficient to justify unprecedented intervention by judges that, as recourse, would effectively rob tens of millions of people of their right to vote – after their vote has already been cast, based on the results of them being counted.

Though in the minority, some elected Republicans have recognized that. On Wednesday, Texas Sen. John Cornyn told CNN he was “unconvinced” by what he characterized as the dubious legal arguments put forward by his state’s attorney general, who has since been joined by 17 other states.

Another Texan, Rep. Chip Roy, was more forceful, on Thursday calling the brief filed by his colleagues “a dangerous violation of federalism,” if not democratic values, saying he “cannot support an effort that will almost certainly fail… and is inconsistent with my beliefs about protecting Texas sovereignty from the meddling of other states.”

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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