Breaking News: Supreme Court to Review EPA Climate Rules

The Supreme Court has today granted cert to review the EPA’s greenhouse gas rules.  This is highly significant.  The  high court clearly botched the last global warming case, Massachusetts v. EPA, back in 2007.  Maybe they’ll correct themselves.

My rabbi in these legal tangles, Jonathan Adler of Case Western University law school and the Volokh Conspiracy, comments:

This is quite significant. Although the grant is limited, it focuses on one of the most important legal questions raised by this litigation, and puts some of the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources in play.

Harvard’s Richard Lazarus comments:

The Court’s jurisdictional ruling is significant in terms of both what the Court granted and did not grant. The regulations the Court has agreed to review represent the Obama Administration’s first major rulemaking to address the emissions of greenhouse gases from major stationary sources across the country. At the same time, the Court declined to review EPA’s determination that greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles endanger public health and welfare and therefore has left intact the government’s current regulation of motor vehicles emissions to address climate change.

I largely agree, but would go farther in certain respects. . . the question presented will force the Court to confront the consequences the Mass decision. In particular, this case will force the Court to reconsider the assumption made by Justice Stevens in Mass v. EPA that application of the Clean Air Act to GHGs would not produce absurd results. As we’ve since learned, applying the CAA to GHGs does produce such results.

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