The environment and environmental concerns have played a major role in American political life for much of the latter part of the twentieth century and through the first decade of the twenty-first century. Undoubtedly, courts have played a crucial role in the development of environmental policy. Curiously, though, much of the scholarly literature is mixed on both the extent and direction of the courts’ influence on policy. Some scholars assert that judicial activism has altered environmental policy in a very negative way beyond congressional intent and statutory mandate. Others assert that the courts have been hostile to the environment, and have left control of it to the political branches of government.