Editorials and Opinion
Editorial: Neighbors have rights (Pottsville Republican & Evening Herald [PA], 05/05/14)
"The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, 6-2, that the Environmental Protection Agency may enforce a rule it adopted in 2011 to limit cross-state air pollution....The decision is a huge victory in the cause of cleaner air and public health in the Northeast."
Editorial: A court win for the EPA and a cleaner future (MetroWest Daily News [MA], 05/05/14)
"The Supreme Court decision handing the Environmental Protection Agency an important clean air victory Tuesday was refreshing in every sense of the word.
The court's 6-2 ruling upheld the EPA's authority to limit power-plant emissions that blow across state lines. It's a crucial step forward for President Barack Obama's effort to improve the air quality of states downwind from polluting coal-fired plants.
Better still, the ruling sets the stage for the EPA's new climate change regulations, which are expected to be released in June."
How Not to Pick Judges (New York Times, 05/04/14)
Maya Sen Op-Ed: "RESEARCH has long shown that female judges vote differently from men on issues of sex discrimination, harassment and sentencing, while black judges vote differently from whites on issues involving civil rights and affirmative action. Still, despite decades of effort by presidents and advocacy groups to promote minority and female candidates to the bench, our 1,355 sitting federal judges remain 81 percent white and 76 percent male. A surprising part of the problem, as I show in a new study in the Journal of Law and Courts, is linked to the American Bar Association’s system for rating judicial candidates, which plays a surprisingly large role in judge selection."
Editorial: EPA victory: The high court upholds its role on drifting smog (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [PA] , 05/04/14)
"Good news is often sweetened when it is served with a dash of surprise — and last week the U.S. Supreme Court delivered both in a ruling upholding the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate smog generated by coal-fired power plants that drifts across state lines to pollute others. The first part of the surprise was the clear 6-2 majority ...The ruling overturned a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, ... Pennsylvania, a suffering neighbor as a recipient of ill winds that blow us no good, has reason to thank the Supreme Court’s clarity"
EDITORIAL: A clean air victory for the Lehigh Valley, New Jersey (Express-Times [PA], 05/04/14)
"In a 6-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court said the people downwind have a right to defend themselves against upwind polluters, freeing the EPA to go forward with tougher restrictions on coal-burning plants in the Midwest and South. That’s a setback for utilities in terms of upgrade costs, but a momentous return to the nation’s commitment to clean up a mess that began hitting home in the 1960s — and a victory for everyone’s respiratory health."
Editorial: In upholding pollution rules, Supreme Court sides with common sense (Boston Globe, 05/03/14)
"The Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday upholding new clean air regulations has been hailed as a victory for environmentalists. And that it is; the 6-2 ruling allows important new restrictions to take effect, which will likely lead to the phasing out of some old coal plants and pave the way for further regulation. Importantly, though, the ruling by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was also a refreshing blow for common sense — in the face of nit-picking, polluter-friendly legal theories that would render much-needed environmental rules all but unenforceable....In its recent rulings in areas as varied as campaign finance and voting rights, this court seems to have gone to great lengths to put blinkers on, evaluating individual cases as abstract intellectual exercises and ignoring how politics actually operates. Ignoring the way wind works appeared to be a step too far, even for the Supreme Court."
EDITORIAL: Ruling further protects the Adirondacks (Glens Falls Post-Star [NY], 05/02/14)
"Acid rain resulted in an estimated 700 Adirondack lakes becoming incapable of supporting native species, ... But thanks to the Clean Air Act of 1990, many of those lakes have since recovered, and thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision this week, Adirondack lands will be protected from further pollution from smokestacks in neighboring states. The court’s 6-2 ruling upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s right to limit pollution from power plant emissions that cross state lines, which seems to us a common-sense good-neighbor policy.... The Supreme Court decision may also lead to further arguments about climate change in the Adirondacks and allow the EPA to make a case that carbon emissions need to be curbed everywhere."
Editorial: Our View: It's settled: Let's clean up Maine's air (Lewiston Sun-Journal [ME] , 05/02/14)
"Maine and other Northeastern states won a sweeping victory Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Southern and Midwestern states must obey clean-air standards. In a 6-2 decision, the court said upwind states must become better neighbors by scrubbing more pollutants from the smokestacks of their coal-burning electrical plants. Republicans from 28 coal-producing and coal-consuming states have argued that enforcing U.S. EPA regulations under the Clean Air Act amounts to a “war on coal.” On the contrary, the situation for the past 50 years has been a war on the health and economies of downwind, Eastern states. It has been a constant aerial bombardment of toxins that have triggered disease, suffering and premature death."
EDITORIAL Our Opinion: Breathing easier in Massachusetts (Berkshire Eagle [MA] , 05/02/14)
"In a rare bit of good news out of the U.S. Supreme Court, the nation’s highest court ruled 6-2 Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency has the right to regulate the smog from coal plants that drifts east across state lines. This is great news for Massachusetts, a state that takes environmental protection seriously but suffers because other states do not.... The ruling constitutes an endorsement of President Obama’s effort to bypass Republican congressional opposition to any and all environmental regulations by employing the Clean Air Act as a tool for the EPA, and offers hope that this avenue can be used to combat global warming on other fronts."
REPUBLICANS PUSHED SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID TO CHANGE THE RULES ON CONFIRMATION VOTES. (Bloomberg News, 05/02/14)
Jonathan Bernstein: "The backlog of judicial nominations isn’t cleared. But there are fewer than 80 vacancies, and the number is dropping. Appellate vacancies are being filled, too. ...The decrease isn’t dramatic, yet. But majority-imposed reform has mattered anyway. Most obviously, Republicans no longer can block a handful of nominees they oppose most strongly....And since Republicans have insisted on maximizing obstruction on each nomination as retaliation for reform, there’s zero reason to pay any attention to what they think, because their behavior is the same regardless of their level of opposition to any particular nominee. ...emocrats weren't eager to eliminate supermajority confirmations. They didn’t act when Republicans defeated the nominations of Goodwin Liu or Caitlin Halligan. It took blockades of entire positions to push Democrats to make changes."
Editorial: EPA victory is good for Texas air (Dallas Morning News, 05/02/14)
"The Supreme Court correctly drew the line in a 6-2 ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency has jurisdiction to force upwind states — the smokers — to control pollutants that degrade downwind states’ air quality. Upholding the Clean Air Act’s Good Neighbor Provision means that Texas, one of 27 upwind states, must tighten controls on coal-burning power stations and other polluting industries."
Editorial: Let's 'secure borders' from pollution (San Antonio Express-News [TX] , 05/02/14)
"t isn't a “war on coal.” It's a war for the right to breathe. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-2 against Texas and other states that challenged the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate pollution traveling across state lines from coal-fired plants. Texas, particularly Attorney General Greg Abbott, should read between the lines here. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's opinion indicates that the state's challenge to EPA authority under the Clean Air Act to control greenhouse gas emissions might suffer a similar fate. It should. ... the other issue is not just cross-state pollution. Texans breathe this gunk, too, and have a stake in preventing global warming. Texas leaders should help Texans breathe easier."
Editorial: Neighbors have rights (Scranton Times-Tribune [PA] , 05/01/14)
"Law, and simple civility, preclude dumping your garbage over your neighbor's fence. But, for some mysterious reason, filthy coal-powered plants in the Midwest and South have been allowed for decades to loft their waste into the sky and let it fall on the Mid-Atlantic and New England states. No more. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, 6-2, that the Environmental Protection Agency may enforce a rule it adopted in 2011 to limit cross-state air pollution.Power generators and 14 Midwestern and Southern state governments sued to preserve their supposed "right" to export their pollution at no cost, and an appellate court originally bought the argument. The Supreme Court found, however, that the EPA actually has a duty to act in furtherance of the Clean Air Act's objective of producing cleaner air."
Editorial: 'Good neighbors' don't duck their reponsibilities; Our View (News Journal (DE), 05/01/14)
"The result will be cleaner air for Delaware. he EPA, acting under the direction of Congress, had devised rules to protect downwind states, like Delaware, from coal-fired plants in the Midwest. The EPA's charge was to create a "good neighbor" policy. The policy was challenged and overturned in a lower court. This week the Supreme Court backed the EPA and ruled that we have to be good neighbors, whether we want to be or not. The upshot is that Midwestern states must require power plants to put scrubbers on their burners to prevent toxins from coming our way."
Marco Rubio Fails Florida, Doesn't Help Florida Judicial Nominees (People For blog, 05/01/14)
"Last week, we asked if Florida Sen. Marco Rubio would step in to prevent his party from needlessly delaying committee approval of four highly qualified district court nominees, all of whom he recommended to the White House. All four vacancies are judicial emergencies, with a caseload so high that even if every vacancy were filled today, the districts would still need several additional judges to ensure timely access to justice for those in Florida to protect their rights."
Republicans hold over vote for Judges Bloom & Gayles (Southern District of Florida Blog, 05/01/14)
David Markus: "Ho hum... more of the same... and for no reason. Just because ... People for the American Way aren't happy with Sen. Rubio on this. I wish voters knew more about this wasteful and silly process. Good luck to Judges Bloom and Gayles next week! HT: Glenn Sugameli"
EDITORIAL: Being a good neighbor, state to state (Waco Tribune-Herald [TX] , 05/01/14)
"Anyone who sympathized with Riesel-area rancher Robert Cervenka’s long, uphill crusade to ensure the neighboring $1 billion coal-fired Sandy Creek power plant exceeded clean-air standards set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will cheer this week’s 6-2 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. It compels states to meet Environmental Protection Agency guidelines ensuring power-plant emissions don’t pollute the air of neighboring states. Tuesday’s decision junks state Attorney General Greg Abbott’s 2011 suit challenging the EPA, which he claimed was pursuing a “radical agenda” that would shut down power plants across Texas and damage our economy — a rabid variation of the usual states’ right theme. But to our thinking, one state’s rights end when it allows pollution within its boundaries to dirty the air of an adjoining state."
Editorial: Pollution ruling was a fight Texas needed to lose (Corpus Christi Caller-Times [TX] , 05/01/14)
"In the constant quest to brand winners and losers, score one for human health — a victory for everyone. On Tuesday the Supreme Court upheld the government's plan to reduce cross-state pollution."
Editorial | Breathing better air (Courier-Journal [KY] , 05/01/14)
"Breathing better air just got likelier under a U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold a federal rule making states that rely on coal-fired power plants — including Kentucky —responsible for reducing pollution that blows into neighboring states. ... uesday's decision represents a victory for public health."
EDITORIAL: Supreme Court ruling could help clear the air (York Dispatch [PA] , 05/01/14)
"In a 6-2 ruling Tuesday, the court upheld federally imposed limits on emissions from power plants in 28 states, including Pennsylvania. The ruling solidified a decades-long EPA effort to reduce smokestack emissions that pollute the air in downwind states. That's a win for Pennsylvania, particularly the York metro area."
Editorial: High court makes right call on regional air pollution case (Republican [Springfield, MA], 05/01/14)
"The 6-2 ruling found conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joining the four liberals and the lone justice who swings between the two camps. While one of the other conservatives had recused himself from the case, the remaining two, Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, dissented."
Editorial Supreme Court ruling is a big victory for cleaner air (Kansas City Star, 05/01/14)
"Americans will breathe cleaner and healthier air because of a positive, somewhat surprising, decision this week by the U.S. Supreme Court. It ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency can impose limits on the harmful emissions belched by coal-fired power plants, including those in Kansas and Missouri.
Eastern states want to be protected from that pollution. But a federal appeals court had endorsed the positions of utilities and coal producers, saying the EPA lacked the legal power to enforce its rules.... Lives will be saved and Americans will have fewer health woes thanks to cleaner air in the future."
Breathing easier [Editorial] Our view: Supreme Court's support of EPA curbs on out-of-state air pollution is life-saving news for downwind states like Maryland (Baltimore Sun, 04/30/14)
"On Tuesday, the Supreme Court offered a solution. By a 6-2 vote, it reinstated the so-called "good neighbor rule," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that protect downwind states like Maryland from drifting air pollution that starts with aging coal-fired power plants but can travel hundreds of miles. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule was actually developed three years ago but was subsequently suspended by the U.S. Court of Appeals, which claimed the EPA had overstepped its authority. ... The Farm Bureau's lawsuit to overturn the EPA "blueprint" or "diet" of pollution limits covering Maryland and other states in the bay watershed lost in U.S. District Court last fall but is expected to be heard on appeal in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia this summer. Like the air pollution case, it appears driven mostly by out-of-state plaintiffs who can only see their short-term costs, not the long-term benefits of a cleaner environment."
Mercury News editorial: Court ruling provides EPA with legal backing to fight climate change (San Jose Mercury News [CA] , 04/30/14)
"The Supreme Court decision handing the Environmental Protection Agency an important clean air victory Tuesday was refreshing in every sense of the word. The court's 6-2 ruling upheld the EPA's authority to limit power-plant emissions that blow across state lines. It's a crucial step forward for President Obama's effort to improve the air quality of states downwind from polluting coal-fired plants. Better still, the ruling sets the stage for the EPA's new climate change regulations, which are expected to be released in June."
Editorial: Supreme Court rightly recognizes the need for limits on pollution harming downwind states (Buffalo News [NY], 04/30/14)
"New York and other states that are downwind from states that emit air pollution caught an important break on Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to deal with cross-state air pollution. The 6-2 ruling, with one justice abstaining, could hardly have been expected from this court.... In rejecting the EPA’s rule, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that reductions in pollution must be proportional to the state’s share of responsibility for downwind problems. But the Supreme Court allowed the EPA’s broader approach"
Obstruction 2.0: How Republican Senators Continue to Block Judicial Nominations Post-“Filibuster Reform” (People For blog, 04/30/14)
"[A]ll too often, GOP senators do not cooperate with the White House to suggest candidates for nomination, delaying the process from the very beginning. Once nominees are made and are sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, we have seen GOP Senators delay the hearing by not submitting their blue slips, an unofficial tradition that gives home state Senators an opportunity to express their support for the nominee....Once on the Senate floor, the situation doesn't get better as senators are able to filibuster nominees"
Editorial: WE SAY CROSS-STATE AIR POLLUTION Supreme Court ruling favors clean air for Texans (Austin American-Statesman [TX] , 04/30/14)
"'The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth.' So quoted Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from the King James Bible as she wrote for a 6-2 majority upholding rules by the Environmental Protection Agency designed to reduce air pollution that drifts downwind from one state and fouls the air of other states."