Supreme Court Strikes Blow Against Biden Administration

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

President Joe Biden’s extreme left climate agenda has received some bad news from the U.S. Supreme Court in a decision involving extensive authorities asserted by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In a 5-4 decision, Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, ruled against the agency’s assertion that the Clean Water Act gave it the power to regulate wetlands close to specific bodies of water.

According to CBS News, the Supreme Court’s decision overturns the 9th Circuit’s decision, which sided with the EPA.

“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.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh was the lone conservative to disagree, siding with the court’s liberals in their argument that the decision will hinder the EPA’s capacity to combat contaminants.

“By narrowing the act’s coverage of wetlands to only adjoining wetlands, the court’s new test will leave some long-regulated adjacent wetlands no longer covered by the Clean Water Act, with significant repercussions for water quality and flood control throughout the United States,” Kavanaugh explained.

The decision follows one made by the high court the previous year that limited the agency’s ability to address climate change issues in accordance with the law.

In a different concurring opinion, liberal justice Elena Kagan highlighted parallels between the two instances and expressed disapproval of the court’s self-appointed position as the final arbiter of national environmental policy. In addition to making it difficult for the EPA to properly regulate neighboring wetlands, Kagan contended that the majority’s strategy has previously made it difficult for the agency to reduce emissions from power plants in order to combat climate change.

Michael and Chantell Sackett of Idaho attempted to erect a house on a residential lot next to Priest Lake in the state’s panhandle. Their case was Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency.

The couple received a letter from the government ordering them to stop their building work and return the property to its previous condition or face significant fines. The Sacketts chose to sue the organization rather than following the order, nevertheless.

Their legal action sparked a discussion about the lawsuit’s timeliness, which ultimately made its way to the Supreme Court in a prior appeal. The court made a decision in favor of allowing the litigation to go forward in 2012.

In a federal court judgment in March, the state of Texas also succeeded in stopping the EPA’s new water rule, which was applauded by Attorney General Ken Paxton.

“Big victory against Biden: Last night a federal court blocked the Admin’s radical ‘waters of the US’ rule, which imposes a leftist environmental agenda on Texas, crushing new regs, and oppressive economic costs. I will always fight to keep Biden’s boots off the necks of Texans!” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted at the time.

To stop the rule, Paxton sued the Biden administration in January.

“The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) requires federal permits to discharge pollutants into ‘navigable waters’,” the complaint stated. “‘Navigable waters,’ in turn, is defined to mean ‘the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.’ Waters that do not fit into this definition are not within federal jurisdiction and may still be regulated by states and tribes.”

Additionally, it claimed that “the Federal Agencies” attempted to “expand their own authority beyond Congress’s delegation in the Clean Water Act” in an unlawful and improper manner.


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