Skip to comments.High Court Blocks States' Lawsuit Over Coal Plant Emissions
Posted on 06/27/2011 3:29:21 PM PDT by EBH
The Supreme Court ruled today that six states cannot, for now, try to limit emissions of greenhouse gases under federal common law.
The court ruled 8-0 -- Justice Sonia Sotomayor was recused -- that the Clean Air Act and the Obama administration's efforts to regulate emissions had displaced the states' federal common law argument.
But the court split, 4-4, on the potentially key issue of whether federal courts even had jurisdiction to hear the claims. The split means the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' finding that it did have jurisdiction stands, although that conclusion would not apply to other federal circuits. Sotomayor sat on that panel; hence her recusal.
The ruling was therefore not a total victory for the utilities, including American Electric Power Co. Inc., that were sued by the states because the court left open the possibility of future lawsuits if the federal government were to cease efforts to regulate greenhouse gases.
That could occur if, for example, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia strikes down the Obama administration's climate rules -- an issue that is currently before it -- or if Congress were to amend the Clean Air Act so that it does not cover greenhouse gases.
The decision does little to affect the political standoff between the Obama administration and members of Congress who want to limit EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
The plaintiffs -- six states, New York City and several land trusts -- wanted utilities that operate fossil fuel-fired electric power plants to reduce emissions by invoking federal "public nuisance" common law.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The states need to start ignoring these rulings.
Let them enforce them.
All I know is, in reading the decisions of the past couple of years, especially as they relate to States v. Feds, I am not at all convinced that SCOTUS is going to rule against Obama on Obamacare. If I were a betting man, I’d say they uphold it.
There are two types of Conservatism emerging. There is the States Rights version and the Supreme Federal Authority version. And while we can argue semantics as to what is “real conservatism”, this court leans towards the latter of those two.
I hear that. What caught my eye was the “public nusiance” part. Maybe the power companies can reply with “If you view having access to electricity as being a nuisance, maybe we will just stop providing it to the regions initiating the suit”. Let ‘em think about that while they’re sitting in the dark.
Terrible ruling and the makings of bad case law.