8th Circuit nabs legal battle over SEC climate rule

By Pamela King | 03/21/2024 04:10 PM EDT

Only one of the court’s judges was appointed by a Democratic president.

Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters

The Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington. Andrew Harnik/AP

A legal brawl over the Biden administration’s first-of-its-kind rule requiring U.S. corporations to disclose their climate risk will play out in a conservative-dominated federal appeals court in Missouri.

The assignment of the case to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the result of a lottery drawing by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, which had been tasked with deciding which of several federal circuit courts would preside over the fight over the Securities and Exchange Commission’s landmark regulation.

Republican-led states, energy companies and environmental groups had sued over the SEC rule in at least a half-dozen federal appeals courts. Conservative challengers who say the regulation goes far beyond SEC’s authority chose courts dominated by Republican-appointed judges, while green groups that wanted the Biden administration to enact tougher requirements sued in venues with more liberal jurists.


The attorneys general of Iowa, Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah, as well as the American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce, had filed suit in the 8th Circuit, qualifying the court to be among the venues chosen to hear the SEC rule litigation.