Ted Cruz probes left-wing group over effort training federal judges for climate cases

FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is probing the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Law Institute (ELI) over its efforts to provide first-of-its-kind, climate-related education to federal judges nationwide.Cruz on Friday sent a letter to ELI President Jordan Diamond, demanding information about the group’s Climate Judiciary Project (CJP) and its work with former senior Biden administration official Ann Carlson. In the letter, he noted Carlson’s involvement in the development of the CJP and that the group shares funding streams with a law firm pursuing high-profile climate litigation on behalf of states and cities nationwide.”Although ELI claims that it gives ‘neutral, objective information to the judiciary about the science of climate change,’ [CJP] is meant to be a direct complement to the wave of climate change litigation initiated by the Carlson-connected law firm Sher Edling,” wrote Cruz, who serves as ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee. “Indeed, ELI knows the impact this litigation could have on the fossil fuel industry.””The Project’s funding and ties to plaintiffs in climate change cases further belie ELI’s claim of neutrality,” he continued.TOP REPUBLICANS LAUNCH PROBE INTO LEONARDO DICAPRIO-FUNDED BLUE STATE LAWSUITS AGAINST BIG OILWhile Carlson — who served in the Biden administration between early 2021 and January, crafting regulations targeting gas-powered cars at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — served on the group’s board of advisers, ELI established the CJP in 2018 to give “neutral, objective information” about climate change litigation and creating a curriculum specifically designed for federal judges, according to their website.Overall, since it was founded more than five years ago, the project has crafted 13 curriculum modules and hosted 42 events, while more than 1,700 judges have participated in its activities, Fox News Digital previously reported. And multiple judges serve as advisers at CJP, potentially having an impact on its curriculum and modules.CONSUMER GROUP REVEALS LEFT-WING GROUPS INCREASINGLY USING COURTS TO PUSH GREEN NEW DEALFor example, Ronald Robie, an associate justice for the Third District of the California Courts of Appeal; Judge Michael Simon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon; and David Tatel, the recently retired former senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, have all acted as advisers for the project.A review of an ELI policy brief summarizing past events indicates CJP has reached judges from across the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th federal circuits, some of which are based in New York City, Boston and Puerto Rico. The group further boasts that it hosted a plenary session with approximately 100 judges in attendance at the annual mid-winter meeting of the Ninth Federal Circuit in 2019.BILLIONAIRE-FUELED ROCKEFELLER FUND COORDINATED CLIMATE LAWSUITS WITH DEM STATE AG: INTERNAL DOCUMENTS”More specifically, ELI states that ‘climate change litigation’ can ‘control, order, or influence the behavior of others in relation to climate governance,’” Cruz’s letter stated. “Therefore, the ‘highest goal’ of ELI’s Project is ‘to help the judiciary as [it] build[s] a body of law that appropriately addresses climate change’ through climate change litigation. In other words, ELI intends to accomplish via the courts what it cannot get enacted into law: a radical environmental agenda.””While ELI claims the Project is ‘neutral’ and ‘objective,’ the Curriculum reads like a playbook for judges to find in favor of plaintiffs in artificial climate change cases against traditional energy companies,” Cruz continued.The Texas Republican further noted CJP courses “show how climate science is built on long-established scientific disciplines” and “explore the human-caused component of [global] warming,” such as the “causal connections between emissions” and “changes in the climate.”BIDEN OFFICIAL DOGGED BY ETHICS PROBE FACES KEY SENATE VOTE OVER TAXPAYER-FUNDED SALARY: ‘SERIOUS SCANDAL’He also highlighted how CJP and Sher Edling — the California-based law firm pursuing climate litigation against major oil companies on behalf of states and cities including Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Minnesota, New York City, San Francisco, Baltimore, Chicago and Washington, D.C. — have shared some of the same staff.While serving on ELI’s board of directors, Carlson also provided pro bono consulting for Sher Edling on litigation against oil companies, financial disclosures showed. Sher Edling counsel Michael Burger has also participated in multiple ELI events, and former Sher Edling lawyer Meredith Wilensky was previously an ELI Public Interest Law Fellow.And Sher Edling has received funding from left-wing groups like the MacArthur Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which have both funded ELI.In a statement to Fox News Digital, the ELI said it is reviewing Cruz’s letter, but reiterated that the group is nonpartisan and only seeks to provide “unbiased, objective information” to judges.”The Environmental Law Institute is an internationally recognized non-partisan research, publishing, and education organization that has been operating for over 50 years,” ELI spokesperson Nick Collins told Fox News Digital in a statement. “The Climate Judiciary Project provides unbiased, objective information to judges about climate science and the law,” Collins said. “We are currently reviewing Senator Cruz’s letter and will determine the appropriate response.”Fox News Digital has reached out to Carlson and Sher Edling for comment on Cruz’s letter.
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