SCOTUS rules on Emissions

An interesting article on the recent ruling by the Supreme Court on the Bush Administration’s ruling on carbon dioxide emissions. Apparently John Paul Stephens, et. al., believes the EPA is not doing enough.

He said a refusal to regulate could be based only on science and “reasoned justification,” adding that while the statute left the central determination to the “judgment” of the agency’s administrator, “the use of the word ‘judgment’ is not a roving license to ignore the statutory text.”

In other words, ‘judgement” is not a roving license to use your own judgement, so the court’s judgement must intervene.

Regardless of your take on the issue itself, the interesting thing in this article is the resurgence of “Federalism” that this decision represents. John Paul Stephens, long an opponent of many of the states’ rights decisions over the Rehnquist years, uses this resurgence as a weapon:

This new twist on the court’s standing doctrine may have been an essential tactic in winning the vote of Kennedy, a leader in the court’s federalism revolution of recent years. Stevens, a dissenter from the court’s states’-rights rulings and a master of court strategy, in effect managed to use federalism as a sword rather than a shield.

This illustrates clearly how the most powerful man on the Supreme Court is now undoubtedly Anthony Kennedy. He used to share the “Moderate” and tie-breaker role with Sandra Day O’Connor. Now he is THE guy.

International Herald Tribune

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