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Monday, April 02, 2007 

Lots of Hot Air from the Court

This was a busy Monday at One First Street in DC. Today, the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in Massachusetts v EPA, better known as the Greenhouse Gas case or the Global Warming case. Justice Kennedy gave the liberal wing their fifth vote, letting Justice Stevens write for the majority. Here's Lyle Denniston from SCOTUS with a pithy summary...
Ruling 5-4, the Supreme Court on Monday found that the federal government had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases that may contribute to global warming, and must examine anew the scientific evidence of a link between those gases contained in the exhausts of new cars and trucks and climate change. In the most important environmental ruling in years, the Court rebuffed the Environmental Protection Agency's claim that regulating those gases was beyond its authority, and the agency's claim that it need not take action even if it did have the power to do so.
When I read that this morning, I let loose a few choice words. I just don't see how this case meets the Lujan requirements for standing. But then again, I don't think like Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer.

I'm going to take a look at the two dissents in a pair of posts soon. Chief Justice Roberts tackled the standing issue in one and Justice Scalia discussed the merits in the other. Expect gushing praise from me.

One of the other interesting events today surrounded the other environmental law case, the Duke Energy case. I don't really care that much about the case itself. I care about who wrote it (see this post to remember why). Justice Souter wrote for the Court. The only cases from the October 30th sitting that haven't been handed down are the partial birth abortion cases and the James case. Only Justice Kennedy hasn't written a majority opinion for that sitting. I have no doubt now that he's got the partial birth abortion cases (I think that the Chief is probably writing James).

As we have seen many times before (including today in Mass. v EPA), Kennedy holds the swing vote of the Court. Constitutional law is in the hands of Anthony Kennedy. Tremble with fear. Melodrama aside, I think Kennedy will hold fast on PBA and uphold the ban.

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  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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