(Official Washington Examiner editorial, Feb. 25)  The Supreme Court heard a case this week in which, by following the Constitution, it can help states save money, electricity generation, and lives while lower courts consider a legal challenge to strict new regulations that President Joe Biden is trying to impose.

In agency after agency, Biden’s appointees wildly exceed their legal authority, which is why radical new regulations have been struck down so often by courts in areas from education to energy to immigration to health, among others. This time the power grabbers come from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Regulatory law is complicated, and several states are challenging tighter rules on airborne emissions that the wind carries into other states. The new rules, which came suddenly into force in February 2022 without warning, immediately nixed emissions plans in 19 states and several more since. The EPA decided that state plans were faulty even though the statutory time limit had passed for the EPA to object to them.

According to a brief by three states that the Supreme Court considered this week, the EPA also “used nonstatutory factors to deny those plans, relied on data unavailable to the states at the time of their submissions, and contradicted its own earlier guidance.”

Almost all affected states challenged the EPA’s actions in various ways and jurisdictions. Result: The appellate courts for the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th circuits blocked the EPA’s edicts from going into effect. All said, the EPA was probably out of line. But a large group of plaintiffs, including three states — Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia — filed a separate suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit because (for sundry reasons) the EPA rules were still operative in those states even while suspended in others. When the District of Columbia Circuit punted, this plaintiff group appealed to the Supreme Court…. [The full editorial is at this link.]

 

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