The Supreme Court wasn’t the only court to botch a case last week. Way back on Tuesday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals upheld, by a unanimous vote, the EPA’s proposed regulation of greenhouse gases. The appellants had challenged the EPA’s “endangerment finding” that greenhouse gases are a threat to public health, and unsurprisingly deferred to the EPA’s “expertise”: “we give an extreme degree of deference to the agency when it is evaluating scientific data within its technical expertise.”
That’s one of the key problems with our administrative state—the judiciary lets the agencies get away with murder, few more so than the EPA. The standard for judicial “strict scrutiny” of a regulatory agency “finding” is whether it is “arbitrary and capricious,” which is a high bar to reach. Too bad the courts can’t develop a standard of “self-serving and meretricious,” which might actually slow up the EPA once and a while.
Our friends at the Science and Environmental Policy Project walk through the court’s opinion and flag everything that is wrong with it. And so the DC Circuit Court of Appeals wins last week’s coveted Power Line Green Weenie of the Week Award (ironically delayed to today due to power supply problems, which will become more common if the EPA has its way).