Monday, April 02, 2007

EPA has "a statutory obligation" according to Supreme Court

This was an interesting read from today's Washington Post:
In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled after a four-year court battle that the EPA has "a statutory obligation" under the Clean Air Act to regulate cars' emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. It said the agency based its refusal to do so on "impermissible considerations" in an arbitrary and capricious way and that it must take a fresh look at the issue, grounding its reasons for action or inaction on the law.

Dissenting were the four most conservative members of the court: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

Roberts argued that while global warming may be a "crisis" and even "the most pressing environmental issue of our time" as the plaintiffs alleged, it is not an issue requiring the intervention of Supreme Court. He said the majority's decision transgressed the proper role of the courts in a democratic society.

Scalia made essentially the same point in sharper language, saying the high court "has no business substituting its own desired outcome for the reasoned judgment of the responsible agency."

So, what are your thoughts? The EPA should regulate or do you think the Supreme Court overstepped it's boundaries?


Hooda Thunkit said...

Everything man does to impact the environment should be scrutinized.

The Supreme Court probably did the right thing, but not necessarily for the right reasons.

But that's okay, it won't hurt too much :-)

Head Spinner Scott said...

I think they made the right decision. I think it is funny though that if it is an issue you support, the Supreme Court does the right thing and if you don't agree, they overstepped their reach. This argument could be used in almost every Supreme Court case.

On issues like this where it could be a matter of life and death not just of an individual, but whole species, I don't know that anyone can overreach though.