SCOTUS Rules Against EPA Powers

Ruling may have significant lasting impact on reigning in powers of other Government Agencies


by Ronn Blitzer, Fox Business, June 30, 2022

The Supreme Court dealt a significant blow to the Biden administration’s climate change agenda, ruling Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot pass sweeping regulations that could overhaul entire industries without additional congressional approval.

The 6-3 decision limits how far the executive branch can go in forcing new environmental regulations on its own.

"Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day,’" Chief Justice John Roberts said in the Court's opinion. "But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme in Section 111(d). A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body."

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CLICK HERE TO READ: SCOTUS Ruling in EPA Case is huge win for "Non-Delegation" Doctrine in effort to reign in out of control Government Agencies. 

So, why would a potential SCOTUS ruling on this case about regulating emissions have massive ramifications? Well, it threatens to overturn what is known as the Chevron doctrine, and which could “render most of contemporary government unconstitutional.” Under the Chevron doctrine of deference, if a statute is silent or ambiguous on a point, the courts should defer to an executive agency’s interpretation, as long as the interpretation is reasonable.

Conservative justices have been directly challenging such agency deference in favor of what is  now being called the “major questions” doctrine, stating “We expect Congress to speak clearly when authorizing an agency to exercise powers of vast economic and political significance.” For example, in AL Assoc. of Realtors vs. AL DHHS, the Court held that the CDC “had most likely exceeded its authority under the Public Health Service Act” by imposing a nationwide eviction moratorium in places with high COVID-19 rates of infection. In NFIB vs. OSHA, they held that OSHA exceeded its authority when they tried to make vaccinations mandatory in workplaces with 100 employees or more. 

However, as Elizabeth Kolbert of the New York Times wrote, “Several of the parties to the West Virginia case go beyond the major-questions doctrine to argue in favor of what has become known as the ‘non-delegation’ doctrine. According to this way of thinking, Congress is barred by the Constitution from delegating powers that could be construed as legislative to the executive branch.”

Non-delegation doctrine hasn’t been used since 1935, since the New Deal. It is viewed by many as “one of the most dangerous ideas in American law.”

Kolbert quoted Harvard Law School professor Richard Lazarus, who explained, “The whole model of the New Deal state is that Congress passes laws that delegate to administrative agencies sweeping regulatory power to address the public health and welfare of the American people.” (Editors Note: This unconstitutional "New Deal" hijacking of our Constitution 
has resulted in UN-ELECTED and un-touchable Leftist Union Government Employees unilaterally creating laws and regulations to limit the individual rights, freedoms and liberties protected by the U.S. Constitution which completely undermines that key principles of "Representative Government"!)

In her article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lisa Heinzerling, J.D. stated that, “Many federal laws aimed at protecting public health and the environment do not speak the way the current Court prefers; instead, they speak in broad terms, authorizing agencies to address risks that Congress may not have foreseen or fully understood when it enacted the laws. The Court’s reasoning in the COVID-19 cases threatens the power of Congress to legislate against risks in advance, before those risks become severe problems.”

Adopting non-delegation would render unconstitutional any such agency discretion, and “fundamentally alter the structure of the US government, stripping away the government’s power (No - unelected beauracrates unconstitutional powers!) on issues as diverse as workplace safety, environmental protection, access to birth control, overtime pay, and vaccination.”


(These Comments come from Eva Marcum-Atkinson in the West Virginia Citizens Action Group Blog)

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The case stemmed from the Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Power Plan which aimed to reduce carbon emissions at power plants. The plan was blocked by the Supreme Courtin 2016, and then repealed by the Trump administration and replaced by the less extreme Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule. 

After President Biden took office, the ACE Rule became the subject of litigation that led to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacating that rule as well as the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. The Biden EPA, however, has stated that it will not reinstate the Clean Power Plan, opting instead to develop and implement its own plan.

The question of how much power the EPA has was based on a provision in Section 111 of the Clean Air Act, which grants the EPA power to set "standards of performance" for existing sources of air pollutants as long as they take into account cost, energy requirements, and non-air health and environmental impacts.
 
The Trump EPA, in repealing the Clean Power Plan, took the position that Section 111 only let them determine measures to be implemented at the physical power plants themselves (an "inside-the-fence-line" restriction) and not broadly-applied measures for entire industries.

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The question of how much power the EPA has was based on a provision in Section 111 of the Clean Air Act, which grants the EPA power to set "standards of performance" for existing sources of air pollutants as long as they take into account cost, energy requirements, and non-air health and environmental impacts. 

The Trump EPA, in repealing the Clean Power Plan, took the position that Section 111 only let them determine measures to be implemented at the physical power plants themselves (an "inside-the-fence-line" restriction) and not broadly-applied measures for entire industries.

The Biden EPA claimed that the major questions doctrine did not apply in this case, arguing that there was no issue of such great significance. During oral arguments, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar asserted that there cannot be a major question because there is no current rule in place. 

Additionally, the administration argued that there is no major question because the U.S. ended up meeting the Obama administration’s carbon goals even without the Clean Power Plan in place.
 
READ MORE AT FOX BUSINESS.COM
 

READ: Congressional Climate Cult Commies Upset That SCOTUS's EPA Ruling Would Make Them Do Their Jobs




 
SCOTUS Reigns in EPA by Tom Zawistowski is licensed under N/A N/A

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