So what are we to call the Supremes' 5-4 ruling in Michigan v. Environmental P[ollu]tion Agency? A consolation prize? If so, it isn't much of one:
A divided Supreme Court on Monday ruled against federal regulators' attempt to limit power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants.
The rules began to take effect in April, but the court split 5-4 along ideological lines to rule that the Environmental P[ollu]tion Agency failed to take their cost into account when the agency first decided to regulate the toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired plants.
The EPA did factor in costs at a later stage when it wrote standards that are expected to reduce the toxic emissions by 90%. They were supposed to be fully in place next year. The issue was whether health risks are the only consideration under the Clean Air Act.
The challenge was brought by industry groups and twenty-one Republican-led States.
That should have simply nullified these illegal EPA regs instead. This time, at least, they got lucky.
Writing for the court, Justice Antonin Scalia said it is not appropriate to impose billions of dollars of economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits.
The case now goes back to lower courts for the EPA to decide how to account for costs.
Which is to say, the Obama EPA will double-down and ignore this SCOTUS ruling.
- Me, eight months ago
Indeed, they have. Flagrantly. So, rather than defying the Regime and nullifying the EPA regs, the plaintiffs petitioned the High Court to enforce their ruling and block the regs instead, and were met with a very emblematically Obama-esque response from the Chief:
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rejected a plea Thursday to block a contentious air pollution rule for power plants in a big victory for the Obama administration.
Roberts’s order came despite his court’s 5-4 decision last year ruling that the Environmental P[ollu]tion Agency’s (EPA) regulation, known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, is illegal.
Michigan led a group of twenty states last month — empowered by the Supreme Court’s recent unprecedented decision to halt the EPA’s carbon dioxide rule for power plants — in asking the court to live up to its ruling last year and block the regulation’s enforcement.
“Unless this court stays or enjoins further operation of the Mercury and Air Toxics rule, this court’s recent decision in Michigan v. EPA will be thwarted,” the States wrote in a February 23rd filing with the court.
And Chief Justice Roberts responded with the one-finger salute, in essence.
Can he do that? Well, that doesn't matter, does it? Because he just did, thus nullifying Michigan v. EPA, but from the wrong direction.
Beats me when the States are going to figure out that direct defiance against and disobedience of their monstrous creation is the only viable avenue of resistance. Leave it, ironically, to John Roberts to have delivered that message loud and clear.