“…the Seychelles or Tonga would have worked just as well.” David Rivkin and Andrew Grossman say President Obama is using international law to advance domestic controls on the sly.
- Enviro activists unlawfully block coal ship, Massachusetts prosecutor expresses approval by dropping charges [James Taranto, Jacob Gershman/WSJ Law Blog, ABA Journal]
- Unfortunately-named Mr. Threatt charged with “robbery that happened while he was in jail” [Baltimore Sun via @amyalkon]
- “How conservative, tough-on-crime Utah reined in police militarization” [Evan McMorris-Santoro, BuzzFeed] More: What if we needed it someday? San Diego Unified School District defends acquisition of armored vehicle [inewsource.org] And Senate hearing [AP]
- “Machine-based traffic-ticketing systems are running amok” [David Kravets, ArsTechnica]
- Thanks, Fraternal Order of Police, for protecting jobs of rogue Philadelphia cops who could cost taxpayers millions [Ed Krayewski; related earlier]
- Study: returning from 6- to 12-person juries could iron out many racial anomalies at trial [Anwar et al, Tabarrok]
- Courts can help curb overcriminalization by revitalizing rule of lenity, mens rea requirement [Steven Smith]
- California resists idea of charging market-clearing rate for water — too much like economics — and instead encourages tattling on neighbors [New York Times, Coyote]
- Academia smitten by notion of “climate reparations” [Peter Wood, Minding the Campus]
- Costly market intervention: “Minnesota doubles down on nation’s top biodiesel law” [Watchdog]
- Reusable grocery bags have their problems for sanitation and otherwise, but California contemplates banning the alternatives [Katherine Mangu-Ward, Steven Greenhut, Reason]
- Coming: film about Kelo v. City of New London eminent domain case [Nick Gillespie, Ilya Somin]
- 45 years later: the famous 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga became a fable for its age [Jonathan Adler on the Cuyahoga]
- Should beachfront owners have to open their land to all comers? [NY Times “Room for Debate”]
- Plus: “EPA has no business garnishing wages without due process” [Examiner editorial, earlier]
In a complex decision yesterday, the Supreme Court struck down in part and upheld in part the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to regulate large emitters of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) [McClatchy/Federalist Society]. A key portion of the holding, writes Jonathan Adler at Volokh, is the finding that the EPA
is not permitted to rewrite the applicable statutory emission thresholds. The latter conclusion, in particular, is an important reaffirmation that agencies are not allowed to rewrite the statutes that they administer. But today’s decision was not a total loss for the EPA, however, as the Court also concluded that it was reasonable for the EPA to interpret the Act to allow for the regulation of GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions from sources already subject to regulation under the PSD and Title V [large stationary source] program. What this means is that large stationary sources (think big power plants and industrial boilers) that are already regulated as major stationary sources under these programs will have to control GHG emissions when they control other emissions. But sources that only emit large amounts of GHGs will not become subject to EPA’s regulatory authority under these provisions.
From my colleague Andrew Grossman at Cato:
At issue was one of the Obama Administration’s earliest efforts to skirt Congress and achieve its major policy goals unilaterally through aggressive executive action….
The Court, in a lead opinion by Justice Scalia, called it “patently unreasonable—not to say outrageous.” EPA, it held, must abide by the statute: “An agency has no power to ‘tailor’ legislation to bureaucratic policy goals by rewriting unambiguous statutory terms.” And if such tailoring is required to avoid a plainly “absurd result” at odds with congressional intentions, then obviously there is obviously something wrong with the agency’s interpretation of the statute. To hold otherwise, the Court recognized, “would deal a severe blow to the Constitution’s separation of powers” by allowing the executive to revise Congress’s handiwork. …
The Court’s decision may be a prelude of more to come. Since the Obama Administration issued its first round of greenhouse gas regulations, it has become even more aggressive in wielding executive power so as to circumvent the need to work with Congress on legislation. That includes recent actions on such issues as immigration, welfare reform, and drug enforcement.
Four liberal justices dissented, while Justices Alito and Thomas argued that the Scalia-led plurality were too accommodating of the EPA’s assertion of power.
If a thin-skinned academic sues a magazine for criticizing him too harshly, and you find yourself hoping the magazine will get sued into bankruptcy because you disagree with its views, you might not want to claim for yourself the honorable word liberal [Damon Linker/The Week, Stephen Carter/Bloomberg, Eugene Volokh on role of libel insurance, earlier here, here, etc.]
- Ball is rolling as Thernstrom, Kirsanow depart CRC: “U.S. National Human Rights Institution: A Bad Idea” [Steven Groves, Heritage] UN Women National Committees in US and 16 other countries advocate domestic policy change, just in case domestic pressure groups aren’t vocal enough;
- In big pickup for opponents of CRPD, the disabled-rights convention, Sen. Corker of Tennessee says he’ll oppose ratification [Josh Rogin, Daily Beast; timeline from pro-convention site; Betsy Woodruff, NRO; earlier here, etc.] Related: AMVETS pulls support.
- “Corporate war crimes begin” [James Stewart, Opinio Juris]
- “US to oppose UN climate ‘reparations’ proposal” [Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller]
- “What if Everyone Thought Congress Could Expand its Powers in Implementing Treaties?” [Duncan Hollis, Opinio Juris; earlier on Bond v. U.S. and Missouri v. Holland]
- “Kiobel Surprise: Unexpected by Scholars But Consistent with International Trends” [Eugene Kontorovich]
- U.N. agency upset that Uruguay has legalized marijuana [Jess Remington, Reason]
- Slate: it’s “fascinating, in a horrified head-shaking …way” to hear RFK Jr. spin his “delusional and dangerous” theories about vaccines [Slate and more, my two cents on the wayward scion]
- What insurance industry behavior tells us about climate change [Eli Lehrer]
- Concern that EU regulations on registration of seed varieties could squeeze smalls, locals, heirlooms [Glyn Moody, TechDirt; Domenic Berry]
- Environmental suits as backdoor grab for policy control [U.S. Chamber, Ron Arnold, DC Examiner and more (“sweetheart litigation”), WLF]
- Symposium on conservatives and the environment: Jonathan Adler, Eli Lehrer, Shi-Ling Hsu and others [Duke Environmental and Policy Law Forum]
- U.K. study: cancer rates and mortality rates among pesticide workers are below the norm [Health and Safety Executive via Angela Logomasini, CEI]
- “Wi-fi made us sick” suit cost city of Portland $172K, but at least voters didn’t put sponsor on school board [Will Radik, Bad Skeptic]
- “EPA acknowledges releasing personal details on farmers” [Fox News] GOP senators introduce bill to curb EPA wetlands overreach [Ilya Shapiro]
- Attorneys’ fees often amount to 80-90% of settlement amounts: latest annual Prop 65 report is out [California attorney general’s office, background]
- Can EPA use subregulatory guidance to dodge judicial review of formal notice-and-comment rulemaking? Appeals court says no [Allison Wood, WLF]
- “Outhouse blues: Salisbury Twp. tells 77-year-old to install $20,000 septic system he doesn’t want” [Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Online]
- Denying attorney fee in oil spill case, Texas judge questions authenticity of client signature [ABA Journal, Chamber-backed Southeast Texas Record]
- Why “climate justice” campaigns fail both the environment and the poor [Chris Foreman, The Breakthrough]
- Does the Yale Alumni Magazine often side with plaintiffs who sue to muzzle critics? [Neela Banerjee on Michael Mann lawsuit against National Review, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Mark Steyn, etc.]
- Anti-science, anti-humanity: Milan animal rights action trashes years of psychiatric research [Nature]
- Parody Tom-Friedman-bot must be at it again: “best place to start” response to Boston attack “is with a carbon tax” [Tim Blair] Too darn hot: “Dems warn climate change could drive women to ‘transactional sex'” [The Hill]
- Some California lawmakers seek to curb shakedown lawsuits under notorious Prop 65 chemical-labeling law [Sacramento Bee; Gov. Brown proposes reform]