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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

Defenders of Wildlife

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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."

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: OUR VIEW | POWER PLANT EMISSIONS; Supreme Court ruling on power plant emissions means healthier air (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel [WI], 05/01/14)
"[T]he Supreme Court ruling this week that sided with the EPA is still a victory not only for the Obama administration in its push for cleaner air but for states and populations affected by downwind pollution. In Wisconsin, that should mean cleaner air and healthier citizens"

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 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."

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: '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."

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: 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: 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"

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."

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: The Supreme Court makes the right call on a Clean Air Act provision (Washington Post, 04/30/14)
"THE SUPREME Court considered two cases this term in which somewhat unclear wording in the federal Clean Air Act left sensible environmental rules open to challenge. On Tuesday, in the first case, the justices rightly sided with the sensible rules."

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."

EDITORIAL: Court ruling on drifting air pollution makes sense (Beaumont Enterprise [TX], 04/30/14)
"Logic and laws don't always mix, but they did this week in a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. It ruled that the source of air pollution can be held responsible even if its smog or soot blows far away across state lines."

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."

Editorial: Keeping Track: Air Pollution; A Limit on Out-of-State Soot (New York Times, 04/29/14)
"In a victory for clean air, the Supreme Court on Tuesday voted 6-to-2 to uphold the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to find the most cost-effective way of reducing harmful air pollution that crosses state lines.... it isn’t technologically possible to determine exactly how much pollution each state contributes to any other state. ...Given this reality, and the broad language of the Clean Air Act, the court was right to defer to the agency’s expertise to manage a hugely complex national problem, and to protect human health and the environment at the lowest cost."

Will Marco Rubio Let His Colleagues Delay Four Florida Judicial Nominees? (People For blog, 04/25/14)
"The situation in Florida is so dire that even if every vacancy were to be filled tomorrow, it would not be enough to take care of the courts' growing workloads. In fact, the Judicial Conference has requested a number of new judgeships for the state"

Editorial: Brewer vetoes show leadership down the middle (Arizona Daily Sun, 04/24/14)
"As we have noted before, though, much of the anti-federalist rhetoric coming from the far right has more to do with specific policies they oppose, not uncompensated costs or federal meddling. Arizona can hardly complain about the federal dams and water projects on which the state was built, and it continues to get back in federal aid far more than its residents and businesses pay into the federal treasury in taxes. So when it comes to giving ranchers permission to kill wolves or forcing the federal government to pony up for a cattle compensation fund to be administered by the state, Brewer got to the point in her veto message: Just because lawmakers want to allow endangered wolves to be killed on federal lands doesn’t give them the power to override federal law — it’s an expensive lawsuit waiting to happen."

Editorial: Gov. Brewer's pen is mightier than bad bills; Our View: Gov. Jan Brewer's vetoes are in our best interests (Arizona Republic, 04/23/14)
"The bills squashed were more about ideological overkill than any attempt at good policy making. … A bill that would have let ranchers kill endangered Mexican gray wolves by putting them in the same legal category as mountain lions and bears was all about some ranchers' continued opposition to a federal reintroduction effort under the Endangered Species Act. Brewer's veto letter on SB 1211 said the state "simply does not have the power" to override federal protections for wolves. This bill was about putting a finger in Uncle Sam's eye. It was not necessary."

Readers forum: Keep judicial qualification top priority (Tulsa World [OK] , 04/23/14)
Op-Ed by Rich Fisher, general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, served on Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission from 2009-2011: "But imagine a day under this proposed arrangement with divided government, with one party able to control a majority of appointments and the other in the Governor's Mansion. Do you think that would be political, much? One quick look at the federal judiciary and its dozens of vacancies, and dozens of road-blocked nominees, as well as a sampling of the rhetoric surrounding any Supreme Court appointment should put that issue to rest."

Editorial: The neo-Nazi and the Second Amendment Preservation Act (St. Louis Post-Dispatch [MO], 04/21/14)
"First, the law seeks to nullify “all federal acts” related to gun regulation “past, present and future.” Of course, such a move would violate clear rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court that say federal laws on such matters supersede state laws because of the Constitution’s “supremacy clause.”...Never mind that this bill, like last year’s, will be vetoed. And never mind that even if lawmakers were to override a veto, that it would be tossed out by a court. It’s important to realize exactly what lawmakers think is a good idea."

Editorial: Running Out of Time (New York Times, 04/21/14)
"Next year, in December, delegates from more than 190 nations will gather in Paris to take another shot at completing a new global treaty on climate change. ... if the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report is to be taken seriously, as it should be, the Paris meeting may well be the world’s last, best chance to get a grip on a problem that, absent urgent action over the next decade, could spin out of control."

Editorial: Chesapeake Bay needs the EPA (Virginian-Pilot, 04/21/14)
"Attorney General Mark Herring's brief supporting Chesapeake Bay cleanup represents the kind of common sense Virginians hope to see from the state's lawyer. Yet indiscriminate railing against Washington regulation - including rules designed to clean up the long-beleaguered bay - is what Virginians customarily see from a few of their Washington lawmakers."

Mercury News editorial: Feinstein bill risks further damage to Delta (San Jose Mercury News [CA] , 04/21/14)
"House Republicans are demanding that any drought legislation roll back crucial environmental protections and end the San Joaquin River restoration project. They act as if these rules are all about helping fish, but keeping the river system healthy is critical for people who rely on its water."

Editorial: Wisconsin needs ambitious clean energy goal (Wisconsin State Journal, 04/20/14)
"The paramount environmental issue this Earth Day, which arrives Tuesday, is climate change. Wisconsin, our nation and the world need solid steps forward to stem the worst impacts of rising temperatures."