Environmental Protection

REACTION: Supreme Court Argument in Michigan v. EPA

Washington, DC – Following today’s oral argument in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Michigan v. EPA – the latest challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to protect air quality – CAC Counsel Tom Donnelly, who was in the court for today’s proceedings, issued the following reaction:

 

“Much of this case boils down to the meaning of a single and open-ended phrase: ‘appropriate and necessary.’ As Justice Kagan explained today, echoing our brief, this phrase is found in the U.S. Code and has analogies to text in the U.S. Constitution—and when it’s given its usual meaning, it’s clear that the EPA’s mercury pollution rule should be upheld.

 

“The Solicitor General and industry respondents did an effective job in explaining how the EPA’s mercury pollution rule is consistent with the Clean Air Act’s text and structure, and also how the EPA reasonably accounted for costs in its final rule, excluding them when deciding whether to regulate toxic pollutants, but taking them into account when setting the emissions standards for these pollutants.

 

“Finally, it’s worth noting that – as the industry respondents’ attorney explained – much of the industry is already complying with this rule, the sky hasn’t fallen, and a decision invalidating it now would be highly disruptive.”

 

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Additional Resources:

 

CAC’s case page, including link to our “friend of the court” brief, in Michigan v. EPA: http://theusconstitution.org/cases/michigan-v-epa-us-sup-ct 

 

“4 reasons why the Supreme Court’s mercury case is worth watching,” CAC Counsel Tom Donnelly Grist, Monday, March 23, 2015: http://grist.org/climate-energy/4-reasons-why-the-supreme-courts-mercury-case-is-worth-watching/ 

 

Roberts at 10: Roberts’s Environmental Law Record: It’s Not Good, But Don’t Count Him Out, CAC Appellate Counsel Brianne Gorod: http://theusconstitution.org/sites/default/files/briefs/Roberts-at-10-Environment.pdf

 

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.

 

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