Supreme Court Skeptical About Climate Suit

Justices likely to throw out case brought by states against power plants
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2011 5:27 PM CDT
Supreme Court Skeptical About Global Warming Suit
Ruth Bader Ginsburg said a judge couldn't be a "super EPA."   (Getty Images)

The Supreme Court looks like it will throw out a major environmental case against coal-fired power plants, reports the Los Angeles Times. The US solicitor general and several justices held that such matters fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency, and shouldn’t be decided by judges. The high court ruled 4 years ago that the EPA had the power to regulate greenhouse gases, but that didn’t stop six states from pushing the case, which called the plants’ pollution a “public nuisance.”

A judge can’t be “a super EPA,” said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And with “billions of emitters” of carbon and “billions of potential victims,” legal principle can’t be the deciding factor, said Solicitor General Neal Katyal. But New York’s solicitor general said a “promise” of EPA regulation wasn’t grounds for “closing the courthouse door” on the case, headed up by her state as well as Connecticut and California. No judge appeared to agree with her, notes Bloomberg. A decision is expected in June. (More US Supreme Court stories.)

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