This article examines the use of litigation by political actors to contest unwanted environmental policy options on the basis of NIMBY claims. It analyzes the discursive frames employed by policy actors to explain how one community in Northern Ontario could reject a facility to receive Toronto's waste while another in Michigan could not. The article employs a case study approach to trace the process of judicial and tribunal decisions about these two potential landfill sites. The research found that the judicial policy frames can serve as a determinative of outcomes of siting decisions in subsequent institutional settings and that such precedents could be overcome only when opponents reframed the issues to align with the interests of all parties. The article concludes that the specific characteristics of each institutional setting in which policy disputes take place are an important factor to explaining policy change or stability.