Average Joe SCOTUS: West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency

As you may know, West Virginia is generally a low-income state. It’s not the place the rich and famous go to live. Part of the problem with West Virginia, is that its entire surface area is part of the Appalachian mountains—not a flat stretch of land in site.

So sure, it’s gorgeous to look at. But it’s not easy to farm and the roads are more crooked than a Russian politician. Plus, building anything meaningful, such as a factory or highway on a mountain, is expensive as fuck. Even if you do build something, because of the crooked roads and massive elevation changes involved in driving on them, it will make that journey very slow and expensive because of the fuel consumption and lost time.

Because of this, West Virginians don’t really have a whole lot of reasonable options when it comes to local employment. No big corporation is going to move there and build anything. So they work with what they’ve got. And what they’ve got is a shit ton of coal and cheap labor, since people are pretty poor there, and will take whatever job they can get.

This particular case has to do with a promise then Senator Obama made about coal, when he said, “If someone wants to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they will be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

As he went on to become president, he tried to make good on that premise by passing the Clean Power Plan, which sought to limit the amount of greenhouse gasses power plants could produce, which was like an atomic bomb thrown into the bank account of any coal-burning plants.

But after Obama, came president Trump, who was a friend of the coal industry, and living in a world of his own making, thought all this hubbub about climate change was a scam propagated by China. No really, he said that shit.

He later went on to say he was joking. Hard to say, but either way, he was much more friendly toward coal energy.

Obama’s plan basically gave each state a goal, put the onus on them to figure out a plan by 2018 on how to meet that goal by 2030. However, in 2016, SCOTUS were like, “Woah, dude. You can’t fucking do this.” and put his plan on indefinite hold—it would never see the light of day.

In 2019, then-President Trump told the EPA to throw Obama’s plan in the Thomas Crapper, and replace it with his plan, the Affordable Clean Energy rule. Trump’s rule was basically, “Hey man. You know your shit is dirty, right? Just clean it up a little, and tell us how you’re going to do it. We’re not going to impose some strict number on you, just make it better, OK?

Back in the day, congress passed the 1970 Clean Air Act. One of the sticking points of this case is section 7411, which gives the EPA the power to determine the “best system of emission reduction” for any business to reduce it’s contributions to the overall air pollution.

According to Trump and his minions, that rule only covered shit they could easily do within their business model. Like simple upgrades to their procedures, or even adding equipment to their facilities. What they called “Inside the fenceline” changes.

In their minds, they felt it did not include forcing them to change their whole fucking business model from a coal-burning plant, to a solar farm, for instance. That’s straight up bullshit!

Anyway, as you can imagine, environmental groups, not happy with Trump’s ideas, sued in a DC District court, who then obliterated Trump’s rule, and his repeal of Obama’s rule. Part of this case hinges around whether that ruling effectively reinstated Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

As you can imagine, the coal industry in West Virginia and other states were like, “What the fuck is wrong with you assholes? We’re trying to make a living here.”

Historic Photo of West Virginia Coal Miners

So on to the Supreme Court they went. SCOTUS was happy to listen to their arguments, but in steps now President Biden. He was like, “Hey my SCOTUS friends. Did I ever tell you how nice you guys look in those robes? Can I smell your hair real quick? Anyway, fuck Obama and Trump. We’re not using either one of their stupid acts. We’re going to come up with something new and better. So if you could just chill, I think we’re going to make this case moot.”

Interesting side note, despite Obama’s plan having never been put into force, companies on their own, in a free market, reached Obama’s goals over a decade earlier than the 2030 goal he put forward.

SCOTUS however was not keen to “chill.” They decided to hear the case. This would potentially put up some guardrails on the EPA, before team Biden can come up with something new. Such rulings can be controversial though, because SCOTUS is not an advisory committee. They’re supposed to right the wrong of an injured party, not lay framework to prevent future harm.

So that’s a major part of this case, as West Virginia’s side thinks they are going to be harmed, and have been already, whereas the other side are like, “These regulations aren’t even in force yet. How the fuck were they harmed?”

Also at the heart of this, is the “Major Questions Doctrine.” This isn’t a law or anything, it’s just a principle SCOTUS currently seems to live by, which suggests that because agencies like the EPA, who were created by congress but act at the pleasure of the president, are not elected. So their scope should be rather limited as to what regulating they’re allowed to do.

The law creating the EPA gives them a directive, but it doesn’t mean they can just write some massive fucking regulation that affects everyone in the United States. For something like that, congress should be writing those as laws.

The point being, if we let these agencies write such regulations that affect everyone, we’re essentially giving the president, who these agency-heads report to, the same power congress has in writing laws, since regulations carry the same weight as laws, allowing the president to have a significant advantage in the balance of power between the three.

While the Biden administration think SCOTUS should moot this case and dismiss it, while waiting to see what new regulation they write, the states like West Virginia contend that Biden was Obama’s fucking VP. He’ll assuredly write similar legislation. They were basically besties. Although I’m not sure Biden ever got a chance to give Obama a reach-around while smelling his hair.

So the opponents are asking SCOTUS, under the principles of the major questions doctrine, to put up some strict limits on what the EPA can do, and what it can’t.

Now, on to the arguments!

Counsel Lindsay S. See for West Virginia opened with this:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court: In Section 111 of the Clean Air Act, Congress directed EPA to partner with the states to regulate on a source-specific level, which means identifying measures particular buildings can take to reduce their own emissions. The D.C. Circuit gave EPA much broader power, power to reshape the nation’s energy sector, or most any other industry for that matter, by choosing which sources should exist at all and setting standards to make it happen. No tools of statutory construction support that result.

First, electricity generation is a pervasive and essential aspect of modern life and squarely within the states’ traditional zone.

Yet, EPA can now regulate in ways that cost billions of dollars, affect thousands of businesses, and are designed to address an issue with worldwide effect.

This is major policymaking power under any definition. And though Respondents argue EPA can resolve these questions unless clearly forbidden, this Court’s precedents are clear that’s backward.

Unless Congress clearly authorizes it, Section 111 does not stretch so far, and Congress hasn’t done so here. Second, the words Congress did use in the context where it placed them confirms Section 111’s traditional scope.

Read together, key statutory terms like “the requirement standards before individual sources” and “focused on their performance” show that Congress did not green-light this transformative power. And, finally, standing is no reason to avoid the merits.

We’re injured by a judgment that brings back to life a rule that hurts us and that takes off the books a rule that benefits us.

Respondents’ arguments sound in mootness, and it’s their burden to show that EPA’s voluntary cessation and a — and a stay are enough to end the case.

They’re not.

Counsel Lindsay S. See

We’re asking for the classic appellate relief of undoing what the court below did, and this Court has full power to give it. And the weighty issues at stake confirm that it should.

In contrast to EPA’s important but environmentally focused role, Congress and the states are able to weigh all of the competing factors and constituencies in play.

The lower court was wrong to short-circuit that process here, and the Court should reverse. I welcome the Court’s questions.

Justice Thomas, being the most senior member always gets to go first, so he opened by point-blank asking if she loses without the “Major questions” doctrine.

Knowing that this is a guiding principle for the Republican appointees, but not so much for the Democrat appointees, she was like, “No dawg. We think the language in the Clean Air Act law that Obama’s regulation is guided by didn’t authorize this shit explicitly. It’s a fucking stretch at best.”

She was invoking a separate doctrine, the “Clear Statement Rule.” It’s often deemed as synonymous with the Major Questions Doctrine, but a little different. Basically, it’s saying the courts should take laws at their word. Not stretch them and contort them to fit an agency’s desired regulation. If the language isn’t very clear and specifically authorizing such a regulation, then that regulation should be deemed invalid. The major questions doctrine sort of relies on the clear statement rule, but a clear statement rule is not always a major question. It could be some petty shit.

Justice Breyer was concerned that her interpretation of the Clean Air Act basically requires that the EPA look at each individual power plant, and regulate them based on what they’re currently doing, and how to improve upon what they have. But, the EPA, was authorized to devise the:

…best technological system of continuous emission reduction.

So in his mind, a “system” is more about the EPA creating a framework to reduce greenhouse gasses, and all power companies should operate within that system. Therefore, he thinks congress specifically did give the EPA that power, and even if it is a major question, the law that is written, specifically authorizes them to do it, which overcomes the “Major Questions” hurdle.

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer

Justices Sotomayor and Kagan both pushed on the idea that the EPA was tasked with reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, which counsel Lee agree was correct. So to them, these measures the EPA wants to regulate do that, and congress clearly gave them the directive to do that, so what the fuck is the problem?

But counsel Lee was unmoved by their short-sighted line of questioning.

She was like, “Listen, you idiots. Congress authorized the EPA to find ways for existing plants to update their equipment and processes to lower their CO2 emissions. At no point, did congress authorize the EPA to write regulations that a coal burning plant isn’t allowed to be a coal burning plant anymore. That’s not improving their emissions, that’s putting them out of business and improving emissions vicariously. Are you so fucking stupid you can’t see the fucking difference?

Justice Sotomayor then pushed her on the meaning of the word “reduction.” The law from congress gives them the task of reducing CO2, and this regulation does that, so why is it not OK?

Counsel Lee responded to that with, “It says ‘reduce’ not eliminate, moron. They use the word ‘eliminate’ elsewhere in the statute, so clearly they know the fucking difference. If you force a coal plant out of business, you’re not reducing their emissions, which implies they still produce them, just less. You’re eliminating it altogether.”

Justice Gorsuch chimed in about the “mootness” claim that Biden and company suggest. He didn’t so much have a question, as he was just like, “Um, you want to opine on that shit before your time is up?”

Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch

Counsel Lee explained that while many states had already reached the goals, well before Obama’s Clean Power Plan ordered them to, there were twenty states that didn’t. So if Biden’s new rule is anything like Obama’s, it will surely fuck up those states. It’ll definitely fuck up our beloved state of West “By God” Virginia. So we’re asking you to put up some fucking rules before Biden fucks us square in the asshole with a carbon-neutral dildo.

Justice Sotomayor continued to press on the idea that she’s asking the court to be an advisor of sorts, by creating a precedent before Biden even makes his new fucking rule, and that SCOTUS typically doesn’t do that. As such, this shit sure seems moot to her.

But counsel Lee responded, “The old Obama rule is technically in effect, even if it’s on indefinite hold. So this shit isn’t moot unless we can be ensured the old rule is gone for good, and we won’t be harmed by this new rule Biden’s peeps are going to implement. Got it?”

After counsel Lee was done with her arguments for the great state of West Virginia, in comes Jacob M. Roth for the companies who burn the fucking coal. He opened with this:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court: On our reading of Section 111(d), the EPA’s power is a bounded one.

It takes an existing pollution source as a given and asks what emissions rate is achievable for that source. Respondents, however, want to divorce the EPA’s best system of emission reduction from the particular source that’s being regulated. That would allow the agency to effectively dictate not only the technical details of how a coal plant operates but also the big-picture policy of how the nation generates its electricity. What is the right mix of energy sources for the nation and, for that matter also, how the nation uses its electricity? And the same would go for every other carbon-emitting industry.

Jacob M. Roth
Counsel Jacob M. Roth

That immense authority cannot be reconciled with the statutory text and structure, let alone with the major questions doctrine. With that, I welcome the Court’s questions.

I was thinking about explaining this in plain language, because that’s what I do here, but he kinda does it so well I’m not sure I need to. He’s got a pretty good point. The EPA doesn’t get to set our nation’s energy policy. They can’t just tell a coal company, they need to become a windfarm or some shit. That’s fucking ridiculous.

Justice Breyer was taking counsel Roth to task on the idea that producing less energy means reducing emissions, and as such, it’s what congress intended with their law.

But counsel Roth was like, “Listen you old bastard, aren’t you retired yet? Less production certainly does reduce emissions, but that’s clearly not the point of the fucking regulation, or it could have just been one sentence that capped the amount of energy they may produce.

It’s fucking obvious to any idiot that isn’t you, that the point of this is to say if we produce 100 megawatt hours and 1 ton of CO2 doing it, they want us to produce only 1/2 a ton of CO2 in the future for every 100 megawatts we generate. Reduction, not elimination. Capiche?”

He went on to smack down Breyer’s argument with this statement:

Well, it says standard of performance.

So let me give you an example, Justice Breyer. We talk about standards of performance all the time when we’re talking about fuel, fuel performance standards for cars, right? When we use that phrase, what we mean is, you know, I can get 30 miles a gallon, I can get 35 miles a gallon.

We don’t mean I can take the bus.

We don’t mean I could stay home.

You know, yes, you’re using less fuel that way.

That’s not a standard of performance. I think the same is true here.

Sure, we can shut down the coal plant, and it will emit less, but it is not performing better.

It’s a pretty powerful argument for sure, and I think Justice Breyer was just too stubborn to admit it.

Counsel Roth closed with a response to Justice Barrett asking about why this gets overturned under the major questions doctrine:

Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett

So, actually, Justice Barrett, I think it is a mismatch and it’s pretty much the same way because I think, if you look at the Clean Power Plan and that interpretation of the statute, the agency really isn’t regulating emissions.

It’s regulating industrial policy and energy policy, right, that is going to have downstream emissions consequences. It’s not actually saying here’s how you can reduce your emissions.

It’s saying, well, we can do the market differently in a way that we won’t need you at all, and then, yeah, sure, you won’t have the emissions from the plant.

I think that is just taking it on up to — to, again, a fundamentally different level in just the same way as — as Brown & Williamson and those precedents.

After he completed his arguments, it was time for Biden’s team to respond, and an amici representing power generation companies that want these regulations to be made.

Veteran SCOTUS Counsel Elizabeth B. Prelogar started off for the government with this opening rant:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court: This case is not justiciable, and Petitioners are wrong on the merits in any event. On justiciability, the D.C. Circuit’s judgment leaves no EPA rule in effect.

The agency action challenged here wasn’t the Clean Power Plan; it was the decision to replace it with the ACE Rule.

The D.C. Circuit vacated ACE but chose not to reinstate the CPP, so no federal regulation will occur until EPA completes its upcoming rulemaking. Petitioners aren’t harmed by the status quo and can’t establish Article III injury from the D.C. Circuit’s judgment. Instead, what they seek from this Court is a decision to constrain EPA’s authority in the upcoming rulemaking.

That is the very definition of an advisory opinion, which the Court should decline to issue. If the Court reaches the merits, it should affirm.

No one seriously defends the ACE Rule’s view that the statute restricts states and power plants to inside-the-fence-line measure.

That restriction is unprecedented and would threaten to disrupt an industry that has long relied on measures like trading and averaging to reduce emissions in the most cost-effective way. Nor does the statute limit EPA to inside-the-fence-line measures in identifying the best system of emission reduction. Petitioners claim that interpretation is necessary to prevent the EPA from restructuring the entire industry or shutting down all coal plants. We agree that EPA cannot do those things, but that’s because of the express constraints that Congress included in the statute.

Among other things, the system has to be adequately demonstrated.

It has to be of reasonable cost.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Barchas Prelogar

It can’t threaten the reliability of the energy grid.

And, critically, it must be focused on cleaner production, not on reducing overall levels of production. Finally, Petitioners are wrong to say that this case implicates a major question.

For all their criticisms of the CPP, we know that it wouldn’t have had major consequences.

The industry achieved the CPP’s emission limits a decade ahead of schedule and in the absence of any federal regulation. Given that reality, Petitioners ask the Court to focus on the nature of the statute in the abstract, not on the particular effects of any particular regulation.

But that is never how this Court has looked at major questions, and it just reinforces that Petitioners are seeking an advisory opinion here. I welcome the Court’s questions.

She clearly didn’t think they should even be here, since there’s no fucking rule in place to give the other side standing to sue. She argues that they’re just here to try to get SCOTUS to be an advisor before new rules are made. I suppose in that respect, it’s hard to argue she’s not wrong.

She also made it clear, that despite the fact that neither Trump’s nor Obama’s rules ever actually took effect, 30 fucking states hit those goals. So it seems hard to argue that they’re enduring some amazing harm, when more than half the states were like, “No fucking problem, dude!”

She also pointed out that the rules of Obama’s CPP had deadlines that came and went before it ever took effect, so it’s not like it could be implemented anyway.

Two of the recurring themes of all these arguments that Justice Sotomayor asked counsel Prelogar to explain, were “generation shifting” as we discussed. An example might be a coal plant is forced to become a wind farm, or something of that nature, because as a coal plant, there’s no foreseeable way for them to hit the emissions targets set forth by the EPA.

Official Portrait of United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Click for Biography

The second issue she questioned her on, was that there’s also two facets of the law, one is about new sources, and one is about existing sources.

Counsel Prelogar pointed out that under Obama’s CPP plan, new sources were given one standard that took effect immediately, because if you’re going to build a new plant from fucking scratch, it should be compliant right away. Why the fuck would you even build a non-compliant plant just to have to upgrade it later?

Existing plants however, were given seven years to upgrade their shit.

She also argued that there were other methods they could use besides generation shifting, such as carbon capture, which is basically what it fucking sounds like. You have a device on your exhaust to catch the CO2 coming out, that liberates the carbon from the O2, let’s the O2 go free, but keeps the carbon and presumably buries it, or uses it in such a way as to not put it back in the air. In other words, precisely what a tree does.

The other is cap & trade. You’ve probably heard this shit before, because it’s been used before. It’s when a company is a polluter, so they pay another company that is a non-polluter and receive carbon credits for doing so. Basically, they polluter helps fund the non-polluter, to offset their dirty ass ways.

Justice Kavanaugh took her to task on this point:

The other side’s theory, I think, zooming out a bit, is that Congress knows how to do cap-and-trade.

They did it with acid rain.

There were bills pending in Congress to do cap-and-trade for CO2 emissions.

Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Ultimately, those did not pass.

And then what happened is the executive branch, as executive branches are, unhappy with the pace of what’s going on in Congress, tried to do a cap-and-trade regime through an old and somewhat ill-fitting regulation. So the cap-and-trade aspect of this, I just want you to address and kind of put that in context of, like, UARG, squeezing it into a — an old statute that wasn’t necessarily designed for something like this.

This is precisely the point of the major questions doctrine. For years, people who are fighting to improve CO2 emissions have lobbied to pass cap & trade legislation and failed. So how the fuck is it OK, that if congress can’t pass that shit, the president can just have a regulatory agency roll up all dirty, and pass it on the side? This is a clear separation of powers where congress can’t pass a measure, so the president tries to do it by fiat because he’s fucking annoyed with their ineptitude.

Her response was basically that congress’ cap & trade bills were fucking different from the CPP, and that difference means these aren’t the same thing now, either. She basically said that CPP had allowed for states to use cap & trade as a measure of attaining their goals, whereas the cap & trade bill congress failed to pass, was a measure forcing it on everyone.

Justice Roberts decided to chime in, asking her if she even accepted the major questions doctrine, and if so, how she’d explain it. She agreed it was a valid principle, but she felt her arguments overcame it.

Chief Justice John Roberts

Justice Roberts was like, “but wouldn’t you fucking say, knowing that we kinda take that shit seriously, that you shouldn’t create fucking rules that violate the principle in the first place? I mean, you’re wasting our time when you know we’re going to overrule it. We’ve got better shit to do.” But because it’s Justice Roberts, he said it in a nice way with a smile on his face.

She was basically saying, “Hey, we gave them ideas on how to achieve their goals. No one told them they had to do cap & trade. We were just like, “Yo, you could try this shit, if it helps you.””

Remember how counsel Prelogar was trying to argue that both Obama’s CPP and Trump’s ACE regulations never went into effect, and therefore there was no standing for the other side to even sue in the first place?

Justice Breyer had questions about this.

Because the DC court invalidated Trumps ACE because it was fucking stupid, part of the ACE regulation was that it “Trumped” (See what I did there?) Obama’s CPP law. So if the DC court shitcanned that mother fucker Trump put forward, that has to mean that CPP is back on, right?

But counsel Prelogar was like, “Nah, dude. Remember, you put that CPP shit on hold? Well, invalidating ACE just means we went back to a time before ACE was enacted, but after CPP was put on hold. So we still sit here with two regulations that are as worthless as Bernie Senders’ ideas on economics.

Last up—Beth S. Brinkmann, in support of Biden and company, representing power companies who actually like this CPP shit, or at least better than Trump’s ACE shit, presumably because many had already achieved the goals set in CPP, opened with this:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court: The statutory framework Congress created in Section 7411 is critical to the power companies.

For years, the power companies have used emissions trading, generation shifting, and other measures to reduce emissions while keeping the lights on at reasonable cost. The ACE Rule would exclude those measures from the BSER because they are not at or to a source, but nothing in the statute excludes them. Congress directed the expert agency to look to reality when it makes the empirical determination of the best system of emission reduction for the source category. Congress would have expected the agency to consider emissions trading.

Counsel Beth S. Brinkmann

Congress had allowed emissions trading by fossil fuel plants to control emissions of various pollutants for decades. We know that Congress did not impose the ACE Rule restriction on the BSER because of the other sections of the statute where Congress did narrow the text to — for certain other emissions limitations but not in 1174(a). The ACE Rule would eliminate significant, long-standing, cost-effective means of lowering emissions.

That’s why the power companies urge rejection of the ACE Rule while embracing the many limits that the Clean Air Act place on EPA’s authority. I welcome questions from the Court.

Justice Thomas opened up by asking her if there were instances under the Clean Air Act (Law, not regulation), where these principles CPP wants to employ were used?

She responded:


Associate Justice Clarence Thomas

In 2005, Your Honor, the mercury rule used it in just this way.

Petitioners try and suggest it wasn’t part of the BSER, but it indeed was.

And I would also point, Your Honor, not just to the actual 1174(d) mercury rule but also the acid rain rule and the Good Neighbor rule under 7410. Those were all instances where Congress said that they had to use emissions trading, for example, but they did not require it in 1174(a), but there’s no indication that it excluded it. And if I could, I think that the statute really answers this question.

There are limits, many limits which the solicitor general addressed, but there’s no at-and-to limit.

Justice Roberts, hit her with the extreme hypothetical when he point blank asked if the best system of emission reduction, as the law states, could include just shutting that plant down. Like, if they can order them to lower their emissions, why can’t they just be forced to lower them to zero.

She said no, that’s not how she reads the statute. She agrees it’s about emission reduction, based on the source, with the assumption they’d continue producing the same amount of power.

But then she went on to argue that if plant A is a major polluter for instance, it can create a new plant B that’s not a polluter, such as a windfarm, and it could offset plant A’s dirty fucking exhaust. So it’s still producing the same amount of energy, it’s just now it’s offset by something cleaner.

While I get her point, the amount of energy usage doesn’t change because a new plant comes online. The people use what the people use. So a new clean plant they end up making, which generates new energy that wasn’t there before, will take a piece of that energy pie away from the older plant, in effect harming them.

Justice Alito wanted to understand, that under their interpretation of the major questions doctrine, maybe there was a rule from long ago that no one ever fucking used. So an agency decides, “You know what, I think I’d like to use this shit in my regulation.” Now, the regulation could have broad implications, but in this case, they’re just going to apply it to one small thing. If this regulation would get struck down under major questions philosophy, is it OK if they only implement it to a small group where it doesn’t affect many people?

Counsel Brinkmann was like, “Remember when you struck down OSHA making all employees get vaccinated or wear a mask, but you were OK with HHS requiring vaccines for health care workers who work at a facility that gets Medicare/Medicaid money? Well, that’s how we see that shit, too. So yeah, a smaller pool of people is OK, but fucking everyone, not so much.

Justice Breyer, wanting to press this issue, went for the joke of the day with one of his crazy hypotheticals when he asked:

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer

Look, in tobacco—suppose they started off in saying we are regulating the advertising of four-foot cigars smoked through hookahs, okay?

He was referring to the FDA regulating tobacco. The FDA can regulate facets of tobacco use, but they can’t just fucking ban tobacco. So his hypothetical wants to know about big ass fucking cigar hookah shit.

She tried to walk the line by saying that really, they should look at what’s being regulated, and whether it is in line with the text of the law authorizing them to regulate it, almost entirely ignoring the major questions issue in front of her.

Justice Breyer, ever the modest person was like, “Maybe my hypothetical wasn’t that good.”

Justice Alito, ignoring Breyer’s silliness was like, “OK, let me put it another way. Let’s say we’re all Kool & the Gang with the small regulation against a few people, but then the EPA is like, “Well, that worked, so we’ll expand this to more people…and more people…and more people, until we’re basically a tyrannical oppressor.

But she went back to the idea that basically, she looks at the text of the law, essentially arguing the major questions doctrine away entirely, and not entertaining any hypotheticals.

Associate Justice Samuel Alito

In a 6:3 partisan split, SCOTUS agreed that the EPA did not have the power to implement a regulations that push these companies to completely change their business model. They believed this approach definitely falls under the major questions doctrine, and is something for elected officials to pass as law, not the president to instruct the EPA to craft as regulation.

Justice Roberts, in his majority opinion was unimpressed with the Biden administrations claims that they were passing a new rule anyway, making this moot. He was like, “You fucking talk all the time how great that fucking regulation was you old bastard. So don’t tell us you’re not about to pass something similar. And stay away from my fucking hair. Jesus!”

Roberts also reasoned that this broad approach had not long before, been attempted to be passed by congress, and it failed. So clearly, congress wouldn’t want the fucking EPA to do it instead. If they didn’t want it, they didn’t fucking want it!”

Justice Roberts was not against these measures as a reasonable means to combat climate change. He admitted in his opinion, that they were likely a fair path forward to achieve that end. They just believe such regulations should be laws passed by congress, so the people can decide, not the president.

The minority complained about the majority’s strict adherence to the major questions doctrine. Their argument is that these agencies are appointed because they’re fucking experts, unlike those dumb cunts in congress, or the three brilliant legal minds here on our courthouse. As such, that’s why congress gives them the authority to make those regulations, because they fucking know better than any of us here in Washington. Their willingness to give the executive such power seemingly suggests they forgot that Donald Trump was once president.

Hear oral arguments and/or read about the case here at Oyez or SCOTUSBlog.


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