NELF Amicus Brief Asserts Public Policy Should be Decided by Elected Legislature Rather Than Courts Under Rule-of-Law Principles
BOSTON – The New England Legal Foundation (NELF – www.newenglandlegal.org), the leading non-profit public interest law firm in the region, has filed an amicus curiae friend-of-the-court brief with the New Hampshire Supreme Court urging judicial restraint in a PFAS long-lasting chemicals environmental contamination case.
The New Hampshire high court is considering how to rule in the groundwater contamination case of Brown v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, remanded to state courts by the US District Court of New Hampshire. The case has attracted national interest as, increasingly, alleged contamination cases involving long-lasting PFAS chemicals are being heard in courts and debated in state legislatures across the country.
NELF’s brief explains why the Court should defer to the New Hampshire Legislature: “The Legislature has primary responsibility for declaring [New Hampshire’s] public policy. The Court declares public policy only when there is sufficient guidance from the Legislature or when the Court is assured that the public’s mind is so clearly and firmly settled on an issue that there remains no substantial doubt about it. … The Legislature is fully aware of the problems posed by PFAS. … Plainly, on the subject of medical monitoring … the Legislature continues to lack a substantial enough consensus among its members to endorse monitoring as a matter of public policy.”
The brief’s author, NELF Staff Attorney John Pagliaro, said, “The Court has an important issue before it, and the New England Legal Foundation hopes the Court will follow its past practice of deferring issues like this one to the New Hampshire state Legislature where all policy considerations can be fully examined and weighed in reaching the appropriate policy determination.”
NELF President Dan Winslow added, “Our democratic ideals require that power to make public policy be vested in the hands of the people, through their elected representatives, rather than in the courts. Respecting our constitutional framework will ensure a government of, by and for the people. We are proud to stand in support of rule of law.”
The New England Legal Foundation was represented on the brief by local counsel Matthew J. Delude of Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC in Manchester.
About the New England Legal Foundation
The New England Legal Foundation (NELF – www.newenglandlegal.org) is the leading non-profit public interest law firm in the region dedicated to addressing policy and constitutional concerns related to free enterprise. NELF’s ongoing mission is to champion individual economic liberties, property rights, good government based on rule of law, and inclusive economic growth. NELF challenges actions by governments and private litigants which would unreasonably intrude on the economic freedoms of individuals and business enterprises in New England and the nation. We believe that free enterprise is a linchpin of a democratic society and offers the most sustainable path to advance the American ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, including freedom from material want.