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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

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Editorials and Opinion


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Carbon rules can work [Editorial]; Our view: Obama administration unveils a climate change plan already proven effective by Maryland and other states with cap-and-trade policies (Baltimore Sun, 06/02/14)
"If anything, the prospect of reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants by 20 percent is almost criminally overdue. And the impact on electricity costs, coal production and the economy is likely to be modest ... Coal-fired power plants are this country's single greatest source of greenhouse gases and thus a major culprit in climate change. And it's also abundantly clear that a divided, sharply partisan Congress is fundamentally incapable of addressing this problem. That leaves only the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House to protect our future."

Editorial: Abbott, Davis lacking on climate debate (San Antonio Express-News [TX] , 06/02/14)
"The matter is settled, for all practical purposes. If a lawyer had this much evidence stacked against him in court, he wouldn't have any case."

Editorial: The EPA’s emissions plan should be just the beginning (Washington Post, 06/02/14)
"THE OBAMA administration has finally rolled out its centerpiece climate change policy. It is a praiseworthy, solid step, taken in the face of withering opposition. Even so, it is not enough."

Editorial: The Report Card for June 3 (Asheville Citizen-Times [NC] , 06/02/14)
"A to President Barack Obama’s push on climate change. Using executive authority by proposing new EPA regulations, the president announced a proposal Monday to cut carbon emissions from power plants 30 percent by the year 2030."

EDITORIAL: Obama's carbon rules a step in the right direction (San Francisco Chronicle [CA] , 06/02/14)
"President Obama has just taken the boldest step the U.S. has ever taken to fight global warming. ... it's sure to be tangled up in court for some time to come.... The big disaster would be doing nothing - so Obama should be applauded for this big step in the right direction."

Editorial: EPA’s carbon plan isn’t perfect, but it moves forward an otherwise stagnant debate (Dallas Morning News, 06/02/14)
"At last, the president’s climate change policy is more than occasional promises to do something....This newspaper still favors tough carbon controls ... We urge Texas regulators to put aside objections ... and recognize that these rules are not a threat, but rather a health-conscious opportunity for our state and the entire nation."

Editorial: Good goals for our planet (Anniston Star [AL] , 06/02/14)
"On Monday, the Obama administration issued new rules governing carbon emissions....Expect a host of lawsuits from big polluters. ... In the real world, increased carbon emissions are warming our planet. The overwhelming scientific consensus says so, and there’s no debate. The nation and the world needs a leader who will spur action on this crisis. While Monday’s announcement is positive, it’s clear Obama doesn’t have the capacity to bring about the changes required."

EDITORIAL: Bold step to curb carbon pollution (Denver Post [CO] , 06/02/14)
"The Obama administration's plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030 from the level that existed in 2005 appears ambitious but doable. It will also allow the U.S. to reclaim a leadership role in the world in terms of reducing greenhouse gases."

Our View: EPA rules would be breath of fresh air for Maine residents, businesses (Portland Press Herald [ME] , 06/02/14)
"Our farms, forests and fisheries can’t afford the cost of inaction on climate change....That’s why Mainers should applaud the announcement Monday of proposed rules by the Environmental Protection Agency. In what would be the most ambitious step to date to address the world’s most serious environmental problem, the rules would regulate carbon pollution from power plants for the first time ... It’s important that members of Maine’s congressional delegation – Democratic, Republican and independent – stand up for this common-sense rule change that would benefit Maine people."

Editorial: A modest start on cutting carbon pollution (Tampa Bay Times [FL], 06/02/14)
"The carbon-cutting plan the Obama administration unveiled Monday is not the fastest or most effective approach to reducing global warming pollution. But with Congress refusing to act, someone has to lead and take bold action on an issue that will require sustained attention for decades. The plan should force Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature to stop ignoring accepted science on global warming and craft a more thoughtful energy policy.... it comes as the federal courts have strongly endorsed the EPA's authority to regulate air pollution."

Editorial: EPA finally gets U.S. into climate game: Our View (USA Today, 06/02/14)
"If the plan survives the inevitable political and legal assaults, it will prevent a not-inconsequential hundreds of millions of tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. ...Monday's announcement marks the start of a far saner approach for the United States, one that will resonate globally."

Editorial: A chance to lead the way on climate change; Utah should embrace CO2 rules. (Salt Lake Tribune [UT] , 06/02/14)
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Monday announced a new set of standards aimed at significantly reducing the amount of carbon dioxide American power plants pour into the atmosphere every year. It is a step that is necessary in order to head off a future where we see the planet heat up and the quality of life driven down, here and around the world. It is a plan that is much less ambitious than one Republicans proposed six years ago. ... he rules create an opportunity for those states and industries that are clever enough to grab it to not merely survive, but to prosper."

Editorial: EPA's new rules on carbon emissions blaze trail to future (Republican [Springfield, MA], 06/02/14)
"The Environmental Protection Agency's new rules on carbon emissions from fossil-fueled power plants are a wise effort to deal with this reality."

Editorial: Trying to fix a polluted past (Daily Review [Towanda, PA], 06/02/14)
"People from Northeast Pennsylvania have first-hand knowledge of what happens when coal producers and utilities don't bear a cost for pollution: they pollute. ...Obama will announce carbon emission standards that will mark an historic advance for environmental regulation and air quality.... Because Pennsylvania is downwind from many coal-fired power plants in other states, the new regulatory regime will have vast benefits for public health. The state government should embrace the initiative"

Christie boxes himself into a corner on climate pact: Editorial (Star-Ledger Newark [NJ] , 06/01/14)
"So you’d think that Christie would reconsider his decision to pull us out of the popular Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as “RGGI.” But no. The governor casually dismissed the role of climate change in Sandy and continues to insist that this respected, greatly improved multi­state program doesn’t work — despite all evidence to the contrary.... appellate judges recently ruled that the Christie administration had acted illegally, and ordered it to allow public comment, and — even more important — to formally repeal the state’s rules if it doesn’t want to obey them."

EDITORIAL: Our view: Carbon debate is ready to heat up (Roanoke Times [VA], 06/01/14)
"Rather than shoring up the wall of resistance, political and industrial leaders should be actively engaged in finding ways to keep the economy running and the lights on while reducing greenhouse gases. Congressional inaction has left it to the Environmental Protection Agency to act."

First female American Indian federal judge quietly confirmed (San Antonio Express-News [TX] , 06/01/14)
Elaine Ayala column: "it's important to celebrate the great news in the U.S. Senate's confirmation of Diane Humetewa to the federal bench in Arizona. A member of the Hopi Nation, Humetewa, 49, made history May 14 by becoming only the third American Indian federal judge in U.S. history, and the first woman....Observers noted Humetewa will be the only American Indian on a bench that has almost 900 federal judges. The National Congress of American Indians praised Obama and the Senate but noted many other “qualified, talented people like Diane Humetewa in Indian country ... able and willing to serve.”"

EDITORIAL: Climate inaction (Free Lance-Star [VA] , 06/01/14)
"Without a doubt, the sooner such deniers either change their minds or get out of the way, the sooner unified, meaningful action can be taken. Well-known columnists and commentators George Will and Charles Krauthammer continue to deny the role of climate change in the increasing severity of winter and summer storms, droughts and floods, temperature extremes and wildfires—despite hard, incontrovertible data to the contrary. They cite old research and take the statements of scientists and climate change advocates out of context— deepening the well of disinformation and contributing to conservative intransigence on the issue. Time is of the essence here, and they are helping to waste it.... In areas of key state and national economic and strategic impor tance, such as southeastern Virginia, more jobs are created and preserved once it’s determined which areas are practical to protect and which must be abandoned. There is much work to do and we must begin now."

Editorial: Breathe deep (Scranton Times-Tribune [PA] , 06/01/14)
"President Obama will announce carbon emission standards that will mark a historic advance for environmental regulation and air quality. ...Because Pennsylvania is downwind from coal-fired power plants in other states, the new regime will have vast benefits for public health. The state government should embrace the initiative and develop an innovative plan for compliance, using a commitment to leave behind its history of industrial pollution."

Chris Rickert: Walker right to risk principle purity in exchange for John Doe compromise (Wisconsin State Journal, 05/31/14)
Column: "Meanwhile, a purist interpretation of states’ rights has of late been responsible for a spate of embarrassing right-wing positions. The resurgence of the court-invalidated theory of nullification — basically, the belief that states have the legal right to ignore federal law — is one. Another is this idea — recently on display at the state Republican convention — that the 10th Amendment to the Constitution allows states to secede from the union."

EDITORIAL: Batten down the hatches - Obama's new war starts Monday; Our View: A new EPA rule is expected change the energy game. What that means for Arizona (Arizona Republic, 05/31/14)
"In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the EPA wide latitude at regulating carbon-dioxide emissions. Monday's decision is expected to embody the president's most muscular embrace of that power.... With recent court decisions largely on the EPA's side, Monday's announcement very well may evolve into the anchor of Obama's legacy."

EDITORIAL: Carbon dioxide; New limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants take a broad approach (Durango Herald [CO], 05/29/14)
"The EPA is within its authority to regulate greenhouse gases: A 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling clarified that. Nevertheless, it is a sure bet that the agency’s new rule will face legal challenges from those whose interests are threatened by it. That should not deter the EPA from doing what is right. The rule, which is expected to be announced Monday, is a significant move in that direction."

Louisiana House should kill bill intended to nullify levee lawsuit against oil, gas: Editorial (Times-Picayune [LA] , 05/28/14)
"What the legislation does is severely limit which agencies can file suit and for what sort of damages....and would leave residents in greater New Orleans with no practical remedy for the increased risk of storm damage caused by coastal erosion....SB 469 would take away the rights of other local government entities to pursue "any right or cause of action arising from any activity" involving permitting under the Coastal Zone Management program and some provisions of the federal Clean Water Act and the federal Rivers and Harbors Act. ... Those residents and the levees and pumps built to protect them are threatened by the wetlands loss created by oil and gas pipelines. Why shouldn't the industry be asked to pay part of the cost to repair it?"

EDITORIAL: In Our View: A Coal-Free Washington? Changes are coming to the way electricity is produced, and state is preparing itself (Columbian [WA], 05/28/14)
"Coal is messy to extract in a process that leaves scars upon the landscape, and the burning of it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.... whether or not the burning of coal contributes to climate change — a vast majority of scientific research says that it does — the fact is that Washington would be wise to position itself for the future. ...The Clean Air Act of 1970, signed into law by Richard Nixon, requires the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate pollution that threatens public health and welfare."

Editorial | Well-deserved honor for ‘Fitz’ (Courier-Journal [KY] , 05/26/14)
"Consider the Cincinnati-based federal agency with a clunky name, ORSANCO, and a big mission to keep cleaning up the Ohio River.... President Barack Obama has just appointed Tom FitzGerald.... Mr. FitzGerald, a Louisville attorney and director of the Kentucky Resources Council, has made a career out of representing people on the receiving end of pollution. He has fought fearlessly for enforcement of clean air and clean water laws, using a science-based and fact-based approach that has earned him respect from all sides. He sweats the details, poring over the arcane language of environmental laws and rules, with an eye toward justice, fairness and a cleaner world. And he can’t be fooled. Most recently, Mr. FitzGerald won an important court case that preemptively blocked the developers of the private, natural gas liquids Bluegrass Pipeline from using the power of eminent domain to buy easements in Kentucky. President Obama’s appointment of Mr. Fitzgerald is well-deserved national recognition. We are glad he accepted."

Editorial: Phasing out coal for energy is right — and smart (News Tribune [WA] , 05/23/14)
"Among sources of energy, “coal” is the four-letter word. It’s often dangerous to extract from the ground. Its shipment on coal trains clogs traffic in urban areas. And when it’s burned to produce electricity, either here or when shipped abroad, it adds to the greenhouse gases that scientists say contribute to global warming.... taking steps toward a coal-free future is a wise path for Washington."

EDITORIAL: A salute to our graduates and Memorial Day (Powell Tribune [WY], 05/22/14)
"Thumbs up to Diane Humetewa, who was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate last week to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. Humetewa, a member of the Hopi tribe, is the first Native American judge elevated to the federal bench. She is a former U.S. attorney in Arizona and is considered an expert on Native American legal issues. It’s fitting that Humetewa received her law degree in 1993 from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. O’Connor was the first woman named to the U.S. Supreme Court and even now, during her very active “retirement” from the high court, she inspires other women to follow in her footsteps."

Six Months Later, Filibuster Reform Means Republicans Delay Nominees They Confirm Anyway (Huffington Post, 05/21/14)
Jennifer Bendery: "So what's happened since then? Two things: The president's nominees have largely been confirmed, and Republicans wasted hours of Senate floor time delaying those nominees before voting to confirm them anyway. At least 126 hours, to be exact.... Republicans have voted to block 30 of President Barack Obama's nominees whom they ultimately ended up voting for. Thirteen of those nominees were even confirmed unanimously."

Editorial: The Native American story you don't know (but should) (Arizona Republic, 05/20/14)
"Diane Humetewa just became the first Native American woman confirmed to sit on the federal court bench, and she'll do it in Arizona. ... While representation of Native American women in the professions is far lower than it should be, Humetewa is evidence that the highest success is within reach....Humetewa will be the only active Native American judge on the bench ... Her judicial skills are critically needed to help lower the federal judicial workload in Arizona. Our state includes great swaths of federal land and an international border that keep our federal courts among the busiest in the nation. Also confirmed as federal court judges last week were Steven Paul Logan, Rosemary Marquez, John Joseph Tuchi, Douglas L. Rayes and James Alan Soto. These judges will help assure justice is not delayed in Arizona, which earned "judicial emergency" status in 2011 because of crushing workloads due to a shortage of judges. What's more, our state has 21 tribal reservations, and all felony offenses committed there are tried in federal court, according to former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton. Humetewa will make the bench a little more reflective of the community it serves....We are proud of what this daughter of Arizona has accomplished."

Editorial: Climate change is church's No. 1 pro-life issue (National Catholic Reporter, 05/20/14)
"The Catholic church should become a major player in educating the public to the scientific data and in motivating people to act for stands uniquely in a position to not only aid the science but also to engage in the ethical discussions essential to any consideration of global warming....Its solution lies as much in people of faith as in scientific data, as much or more in a love for God's creation as it does in our instinct for self-preservation."