As the country considers nominees for 2024, issues of an environmental nature are being defined in the courts. In an effort to widen the scope of the federal government’s control of areas within the country, the Biden administration’s Clean Water Act is being seen to give the feds more control in the regulation of more land that is deemed by the government to be “wet.”
And, states are seeing the same type of issues regarding federal control and power of the courts climbing to their own high courts as well as courts at the federal level.
The Clean Water Act previously made headway in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which sided with the EPA, CBS News reported. But the US. Supreme Court has disagreed, reversing that decision. The act that would provide more federal government regulation over wet areas and bodies of water was rejected by the SCOTUS to the chagrin of the Biden administration.
The high court’s unanimous 9-0 decision rejected the Environmental Protection Agency’s broad definition of Waters of the United States — delivering bad news to Biden’s radical climate agenda, Conservative Brief reports.
Justice Samuel Alito has explained the court’s ruling:
“The reach of the Clean Water Act is notoriously unclear,” Alito wrote. “Any piece of land that is wet at least part of the year is in danger of being classified by E.P.A. employees as wetlands covered by the act, and according to the federal government, if property owners begin to construct a home on a lot that the agency thinks possesses the requisite wetness, the property owners are at the agency’s mercy.”
Democrats are furious with having their control narrowed rather than widened. Dems have come out against the ruling in full force, blasting “MAGA” effort to pollute waters and wetlands. Liberal media has twisted the unanimous decision to imply that conservatives do not care about clean water, when the court is actually just preventing more federal government intervention.
“This MAGA Supreme Court is continuing to erode our country’s environmental laws,” proclaimed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “This ruling will mean more polluted water and more destruction of wetlands.” Rep. Ro Khanna (D., Calif.), meanwhile, said that “the Supreme Court is hurting public health,” asking, “How many Americans would be against clean water?”
Conservative Brief notes that “The liberal Washington Post did not mention the ruling was unanimous and framed it as being ‘close,’ which is not the case given all 9 of the justices agreed. The outlet called the decision ‘another setback’ in the fight against ‘air and water pollution.'”
California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna said that “the Supreme Court is hurting public health,” asking, “How many Americans would be against clean water?” And Maryland Democrat Rep. Steny H. Hoyer slammed the ruling, saying the justices were playing the roles of lawmakers, not interpreters of the law.
“The Court appoints itself — instead of Congress or the expert agency — the decision-maker on climate policy,” Hoyer said. “That is not how our system of checks and balances works,” he said, adding the Senate should “act on legislation to address the existential threat posed by the climate crisis, including House-passed measures to lower Americans’ energy costs and secure a clean energy future.”
The Dems’ comments ignore the fact that SCOTUS exists to make sure Congress’ laws adhere to the U.S. Constitution.
As the SCOTUS is criticized by Democrats for rendering decisions about laws, another case about the same function of the court is possibly rising to the federal level.
The case in North Carolina revolves around a constitutional concept known as the “independent state legislature theory.” Backers argue that state legislatures possess considerable authority in the administration of federal elections within their respective states, with limited oversight from state courts or even governors.
The court is currently deliberating on the case of Moore v. Harper, which specifically addresses the theory. However, there are concerns the court may not reach a comprehensive resolution on the matter in time for the upcoming 2024 elections, Conservative Brief notes.
The Washington Examiner reports details:
Moore v. Harper features a dispute over North Carolina’s Supreme Court dismissing a GOP-backed apportionment plan for being too partisan.
Republicans filed a challenge to the high court, but then conservatives managed to regain control of the state Supreme Court. The now-5-2 Republican-majority court subsequently opted to rehear the redistricting case. The court scraped its prior ruling late last month, which was the underpinning of the Moore v. Harper case pending before the Supreme Court.
“Should the high court fail to weigh in on the issue, state legislatures may feel emboldened to have free reign with gerrymandering, election integrity laws, and more, likely drawing major legal challenges,” the Examiner noted further.
Supporters of the independent legislature theory say that it’s based on a strict interpretation of the Constitution’s elections clause: “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.”