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View Diary: SCOTUS rules against Bush Admin in warming case (149 comments)

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  •  my 2 cents (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gpclay, Quinton, dotcommodity

    This case, on first glance, appears to be mostly about the doctrine of "standing."  That is, does the party suing (in this case the state of Massachusetts) present a genuine case or controversy which affects it and can be redressed by the court?  IOW, you can't sue just because you are against the government, you actually have to be injured by what they are doing.

    Conservatives have tried for years to use this doctrine to stop environmental plaintiffs, with some degree of success.  Mass. was able to get around it here by showing the actual damage to its coastline by global warming.  However, the conservative justices did not even think this actual evidence was enough to get around the standing doctrine.  Which was not suprising at all.

    Ultimately, I am not sure what impact this decision will have in terms of regulating greenhouse gases in the next 2 years, the EPA can probably drag out the "rulemaking" process through the end of Bush's term.  If we really want to stop global warming, we will have to elect a Democratic president.

    •  I agree with your last sentence (7+ / 0-)

      But the case is clearly about more than standing.  The Synopsis isn't an official part of the Court's opinion, but it is prepared by Court personnel and is a dispassionate presentation of what has been decided.  The following are the first sentences of the four main descriptions of the holding as provided by the Synopsis:

      Held:

      1. Petitioners have standing to challenge the EPA's denial of their rulemaking petition.
      1. The scope of the Court's review of the merits of the statutory issue is narrow.
      1. Because greenhouse gases fit well within the Act's capacious definition of "air pollutnt," EPA has statutory authority to regulate emissions of such gases from new motor vehicles.
      1. EPA's alternative basis for its decision -- that even if it has statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gases, it would be unwise to do so at this time -- rests on reasoning divorced from the statutory text.

      At first glance, it really appears to be quite a slap-down to EPA and the Bush administration.  Unfortunately, I've got some things to do and can't provide any more analysis at this time.

      "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

      by leevank on Mon Apr 02, 2007 at 08:31:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  2 dissents, by Roberts and Scalia. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gpclay, pb

        Roberts's opinion rejects the majority holding on standing.  Scalia's rejects the majority holdings on the merits.

        But all four dissenters joined both dissents.

        Katrina was America's Chernobyl.

        by lysias on Mon Apr 02, 2007 at 08:39:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gpclay, lysias

        the standing analysis is kind of tied in to the merits here, as often happens.  This case is certainly a slap down to the Bush administration and its anti-scientific excuses for doing nothing.  However, as I said, I don't think it will have that much practical impact at least for the next two years.  This administration is certainly practiced in coming up with creative ways to get around court decisions it doesn't like.

        •  It always takes at least several months for an (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gpclay, mcfly

          agency to go through all the hoops necessary in producing a final regulation.  And the White House's recent amendments to the executive order on issuing regulations will slow down the process even further.

          Katrina was America's Chernobyl.

          by lysias on Mon Apr 02, 2007 at 08:55:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If we really want to stop global warming (0+ / 0-)

      we also need a Democratic majority in the Senate

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