Jay Duffy is an attorney at the Clean Air Task Force.
Environmental advocacy is mostly invisible work, but occasionally I’m required to step into a more conspicuous role. Last month, I was among a handful of people chosen to join U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, who represents the federal government in cases before the Supreme Court, at Georgetown Law’s Supreme Court Institute. We were there to prepare a long-time climate advocate, who would be presenting an oral argument in West Virginia v. EPA. I had argued a portion of the case when it went before the D.C. Court of Appeals last year. In the niche world of appellate climate advocacy, I had arrived. It was invigorating.
When I arrived home to Boston, I found my inbox filled with press inquiries and requests to sit on panels to parse every word the justices might utter while hearing the case. One request struck me, however. The person sending it invited me to speak about the case’s implications on climate regulation and asked if I had suggestions for diversifying the panel. Over the years, my body had become more angular, my beard grew in, and my hair fell out, yet it stil... Read more