Was Roberts Being Held Hostage by Scalia?

The Chief Justice gave the Obama Administration, and the Earth, a nice gift today by refusing to block new EPA rules on coal plant emissions.

Just 3 weeks ago they blocked another EPA rule along the same lines, and of course last June in a 5-4 ruling they blocked major new rules that caused polluters to dance in the streets.

So for this Court, even without Scalia, to do anything that would make people who care about breathing happy is pretty unexpected.

The order was issued solely by Chief Justice Roberts, who did not refer the question to the full court.

Chief Justice Roberts rejected an application from 20 states that said a federal appeals court in Washington had effectively thwarted their victory in the Supreme Court in June, when the high court ruled that the E.P.A. had failed to take into account the punishing costs its mercury regulation would impose. In that 5-to-4 decision, Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, the Supreme Court ruled that the agency had run afoul of the Clean Air Act by deciding to regulate the emissions without first undertaking a cost-benefit analysis to show the regulation to be “appropriate and necessary.”

One of those 5 votes against the EPA last June was Roberts, another was Scalia.  Has Roberts lost his Svengali on the EPA and anti-environmentalism?


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