Last week, in a surprisingly clear opinion, the Supreme Court limited federal power and took the side of the Constitution over an agency’s regulatory program.
“At the bottom of the Supreme Court’s decision today tossing out, in large part, the Obama Administration’s greenhouse gas emissions scheme is a stiff dose of constitutional common sense,” Andrew M. Grossman said in a CATO Institute blog post about the Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency decision.
“An agency has no power to ‘tailor’ legislation to bureaucratic policy goals by rewriting unambiguous statutory terms,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion. He also called the EPA’s behavior “patently unreasonable—not to say outrageous.”
This is refreshing opinion from the Supreme Court, and the jurists deserve to be lauded for getting it right in this instance.
It is only fair to give credit where credit is due. The Supreme Court made a ruling that protected the public from excessive government intrusion, and remained true to the Constitution, but these types of occurrences are few and far between. In spite of this rare quality ruling, we cannot depend upon the Supreme Court to defend our rights. It has overwhelmingly proven itself incapable of doing so.
For example, the Supreme Court recently decided that they wouldn’t even hear Hedges v. Obama, a case that could have overturned indefinite detention of American citizens without a trial. The esteemed court claimed that there was no imminent threat to the journalists who filed the injunction, a fishy claim considering the Obama administration is currently waging an unprecedented war against journalists and whistleblowers.
When they do take on cases, the rulings are usually bewilderingly abysmal. In the Bush-Obama era alone, we have seen the Supreme Court rule that the right to remain silent does not apply unless it’s invoked, students have no constitutional rights in public schools under any circumstances, asset forfeiture laws with guilty until proven innocent being the standard as constitutionally proper, the federal government could deny sick patients their medicine, and it was fine for the feds to coerce individuals into buying overpriced health insurance.
Don’t let this one instance of good behavior fool you. It is not the norm, it is the exception to the rule. Nullification is more necessary than ever, and this gang of nine unelected, politically-connected lawyers called the Supreme Court is just as guilty of crimes against the Constitution as anyone else in Washington D.C.
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