Because so many environmental enforcement issues end up in court, federal judges play a crucial role. Judges decide not only how to interpret and enforce, but also whether to uphold or strike down, the laws that protect our nation's clean water, clean air, communities, special natural places and endangered species.
Unfortunately, activist judges often place their interests first and prevent laws from being carried out as Congress intended. As presidential appointees, judges must be confirmed by the Senate. Once confirmed, every federal District (trial) Court, Circuit Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court judge holds the position for life, giving every confirmation long-lasting impact. To preserve the integrity of the federal judiciary, each nominee must base decisions on fairness and honesty, not hostility to balanced safety, heath, and environmental protections.
Defenders’ Judging the Environment project conducts research to advise the environmental community and to educate the public on the importance of lifetime federal judicial nominees. The project continues to urge the President and the Senate to fill record numbers of vacancies to preserve access to courts and the rights of average Americans to ensure enforcement of environmental and other safeguards.