Supreme Court Rules Against EPA, Obama Legacy

The U.S. Supreme Court continued its log roll of landmark decisions and both sides of the political aisle have been given reason to protest.

According to the National Journal, in a suit brought by multiple states against the Environmental Protection Agency concerning new state-based rules, the Court agreed with the states that the agency had overreached its congressional mandate.

In the majority opinion for the 5-4 decision, Justice Antonin Scalia argued that the EPA failed to consider the exorbitant costs to businesses associated with compliance for the new carbon emission rules.

The decision represents a significant blow to President Obama’s strategy as he continues to press forward on his legacy, which has as one of its key pillars an aggressive green agenda.

What’s more, the argument in the opinion is one that legal scholars say could set a sweeping precedent which may affect all federal agencies.

Rather than argue simply that the EPA had overstepped its authority in terms of interstate regulation, the notion that it must consider the financial impact of regulations to the private sector means that such considerations now must be taken into account by any agency before implementing new rules.

On the other hand, conservatives will ask, do we want the financial impact to be the deciding factor of the authority of federal agencies? Frankly, it might be more important than constitutionalists would like, considering the elasticity of the Commerce Clause these days.