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Supreme Court rules against EPA

EPA-SCOTUS-Examiner

John Siciliano reports: The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against Environmental Protection Agency pollution rules for power plants Monday, in a blow to President Obama’s environmental agenda.

The majority decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, said the EPA has to consider the costs of complying with the rules and sent the air pollution regulations back to the agency.

The EPA rules in question regulate hazardous air pollutants and mercury from coal- and oil-fired power plants, known as the MATS regulations. The regulations went into effect April 16. The utility industry had argued that the rules cost them billions of dollars to comply and that EPA ignored the cost issue in putting the regulations into effect.

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“EPA must consider cost — including cost of compliance — before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary. It will be up to the agency to decide (as always, within the limits of reasonable interpretation) how to account for cost,” Scalia wrote in agreeing with the industry.

The decision will have repercussions for other EPA regulations that are key to Obama’s climate change agenda. The EPA will now have to examine the cost of compliance for the Clean Power Plan, which is at the heart of the president’s environmental agenda. Read the rest of this entry »

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Breaking: High Court Upholds Mich Affirmative Action Ban

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy  (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (AP Photo/Patrick Semanski)

“But without checks, democratically approved legislation can oppress minority groups…”

— Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

WASHINGTON (AP) —Mark Sherman reports:  The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan’s ban on using race as a factor in college admissions despite one justice’s impassioned dissent that accused the court of wanting to wish away racial inequality.

The justices said in a 6-2 ruling that Michigan voters had the right to change their state constitution in 2006 to prohibit public colleges and universities from taking account of race in admissions decisions. The justices said that a lower federal court was wrong to set aside the change as discriminatory.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

“This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it.”

— Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

The decision bolstered similar voter-approved initiatives banning affirmative action in education in California and Washington state. A few other states have adopted laws or issued executive orders to bar race-conscious admissions policies. Read the rest of this entry »


Bench Update: Supreme Court Poised to Stick a Fork in Obama’s Recess Appointments

U.S. President Barack Obama holds a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington July 15, 2011. Obama on Friday said he would not support a $2.4 trillion plan to reduce the federal deficit without some tax hikes to increase revenues. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS HEADSHOT)

“Wait..wait..strike down..okay now, hold on..”          REUTERS/Larry Downing

Ken Klukowski writes: On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments regarding whether President Barack Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are unconstitutional. The case will probably be a lopsided defeat for the president, with his own Supreme Court appointees expressing deep skepticism of the Justice Department‘s arguments.

If the Court goes the route it signaled during argument, all the rulings and regulations from that powerful body over a period of a couple years will be declared illegal, at least temporarily until a new Board can reconsider them.

Read the rest of this entry »