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Now that the dust has settled on the Supreme Court’s 2014 session, we can look at the decisions and conclude that the Obama Administration received a serious smack down. Two big cases got most of the news coverage: Hobby Lobby and the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recess appointments. In both cases, the administration lost. At the core of both, is the issue of the administration’s overreach.
Within the cases the Supreme Court heard, one had to do with energy: Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. Environmental Protection Agency — and it, too, offered a rebuke.
The UARG v. EPA decision came down on June 23. The decision was mixed — with both sides claiming victory. Looking closely, there is cause for optimism from all who question the president’s authority to rewrite laws.
A portion of the UARG v. EPA case was about the EPA’s “Tailoring Rule” in which it “tailored” a statutory provision in the Clean Air Act — designed to regulate traditional pollutants such as particulate matter — to make it work for CO2. In effect, the EPA wanted to rewrite the law to achieve its goals. The decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia for the majority, stated:
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