The highest court is still not finished.
On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court will convene for another unscheduled decision day, the third added at the last minute at the end of a truly historic June.
A case against the Environmental Protection Agency, led by West Virginia but joined by dozens of states, could limit that agency’s regulatory powers, but could also change the ability of a number of federal bureaucracies to issue regulations not defined by legislation.
“One thing we’ve said is that Congress needs to be clear if it wants to entrust decisions of great economic and political importance to an agency,” Assistant Justice Brett Kavanaugh told the Solicitor General. United States in April.
“The second thing we said is that the Court takes it with some skepticism when agencies claim to have found in a long-standing law an unadvertised power to regulate a significant part of the American economy,” he said. declared.
The case in question, West Virginia v. EPA, stems from a DC district court ruling that rejected a Trump-era rule replacing Obama-era regulations.
Trump’s EPA wanted the Obama-era Clean Power Plan repealed, but their replacement, the “Affordable Clean Power Rule” was rejected by the lower court for being “arbitrary and capricious.”
This brought emission standards back to the rules established under the Clean Power Plan. The states sued, claiming the EPA was unearthing old rules, appealing to the court’s “major issues” doctrine.
The decision, if decided in favor of the states, could impact a wide range of government agencies that regulate American life outside of the express writing of their legislative mandate.
The court recently applied the doctrine in a case striking down the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s workplace vaccination rules.
The court still has four cases to decide, including one involving the Trump-era “stay in Mexico” policy.