Remember four and a half months ago when Barack Obama's EPA issued its "Water of the United States" (WOTUS) rule essentially confiscating all "flowing" water in the country under federal control? Remember how eighteen States challenged this illegal usurpation on constitutional grounds, but rather than simply nullifying it as is their Original Authority prerogative, they sued instead, essentially trying to get one branch of the federal government to prevent a power grab by a brother branch of the same entity?
Well, after winning a district court injunction against WOTUS six weeks ago, it seems to have borne some more fruit - for now:
A U.S. court on Friday issued an order temporarily blocking the implementation of a federal water rule across the country, the latest in a series of legal setbacks for Obama administration environmental regulations.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted a nationwide stay against the so-called Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which is intended to [universally expand] which bodies of water are covered by the Clean Water Act [i.e. ALL of it]. The rule was finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in May but still faces political and legal opposition.
The appellate court said that the eighteen states challenging the new standards were unlikely to face immediate irreparable harm from the rule, but there was also no evidence that the nation's waters would suffer "imminent injury" if the regulation was put on hold.
But definitely so if it goes into effect. Which, of course, it long since already has, in practice.
"A stay allows for a more deliberate determination whether this exercise of executive power ... is proper under the dictates of federal law," the court said in its majority opinion.
Which it doesn't require a black robe and a law degree to recognize that it is grotesquely improper and unconstitutional.
Here's the punchline of the story:
The EPA said it respected the court's decision to allow more consideration of the issues raised by the case.
Surrrrrre it does. Or, on second thought, maybe I shouldn't be so cynical; the EPA may well respect the court's decision to allow more consideration of the issues raised by the case. Not enough to actually obey the nationwide stay, of course; WOTUS is still in effect and will not be withdrawn. All waters within the boundaries of the United States still belong to Barack Obama, lock, stock, and faucet. But the Sixth Circuit is, in the EPA's humble opinion, certainly entitled to its opinion.
Just not to have it enforced at the latter's expense.
I'm sure that stay will make a good table placemat or something, though.