WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday began a nine-month term by hearing conservative challenges to the federal government’s authority to regulate wetlands under a landmark environmental protection law. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson asked multiple questions on his first day on the bench.
Jackson, the first black woman to serve in court, quickly hit the mark, asking a series of questions early in the nearly two-hour debate that showed sympathy for maintaining vast federal powers over the wetlands. was removed.
On the notoriously complex issue regarding the scope of the Clean Water Act, Jackson seemed eager to get to the heart of the matter, and at one point “let me bring some enlightenment to it.” She then asked follow-up questions after lengthy correspondence with attorneys for Shantel and Mike Sackett, Idaho landowners who wanted to build on land the government deemed wetlands. I sincerely apologize for what I did.
Jackson’s interrogation policy was similar to that of two other liberal justices on the court, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Conservative judges seemed skeptical of the federal government’s broad powers, but it was unclear exactly how the courts would rule based on their questions.
Jackson, who was nominated by President Joe Biden, was sworn into office over the summer. Oral arguments also recorded her four female judges for the first time in history. sat down on the bench together.
Jackson succeeded fellow liberal judge Stephen Breyer, who retired in June. She is one of three liberals in her court of nine.
A court has already agreed to hear a major lawsuit that could end racial considerations in college admissions and make it easier for Republicans to impose voting limits ahead of the 2024 presidential election.6 With a solid 3-to-3 conservative majority, Jackson is unlikely to be a significant vote in many of the major lawsuits.
For the first time since the Covid pandemic hit Washington in March 2020, the public can be packed Even if public access to the building remains restricted, the risk-averse court will return somewhat to pre-pandemic procedures, so the tribunal of the lawsuit on Monday.
A majority of conservatives who overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling protecting abortion rights to the federal government came to question the court’s legitimacy, the judge said in the court’s latest term. Return to action after the upheaval ends.
A majority of conservatives in the court are skeptical of the broad assertions of federal agency authority, which may be consistent with those made in Monday’s lawsuit. A judge has made a major ruling limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to tackle climate change by regulating carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act.
This time, the same organization stands in court and observes the Water Purification Act, which aims to protect water quality, under a microscope.
Sacketts resurrection also seen They moved to the Supreme Court after a judge ruled in their favor in an earlier case in 2012. Both cases involve the same underlying controversy: the Sacketts’ efforts to build real estate on land they own in Priest Lake, Idaho, some of which is owned by his EPA. Considered a protected wetland. In other words, the land is subject to federal jurisdiction and a permit is required to build a building on it.
The first lawsuit concerned whether the Sacketts could challenge the EPA compliance order in court after filling the affected area with gravel and sand without a permit. A dispute that began in 2007 continued over whether the land was wetland.
The Sacketts appealed to the Supreme Court again after the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year in favor of the federal government, which determined that the area actually constitutes a wetland.
Laws on how to define wetlands have long been a matter of great confusion for property developers and other business interests, and in 2006, when the Supreme Court issued an earlier ruling on the issue, It was not resolved. Four judges then said the Clean Water Act covers land with “continuous surface connections” to waterways, but without a clear majority. Judge Anthony Kennedy, who cast his fifth vote in a 5-4 ruling, created an original test that the law gives jurisdiction over wetlands with “significant links” to waterways. . The new precedent gives the court an opportunity to reconsider its earlier rulings, and some observers may agree with a majority of the stricter standards proposed by his four judges in 2006. I think.
Successive presidential administrations have sought to clarify the law. Democrats generally support greater federal authority, while Republicans, backed by business interests, argue that Clean Water Act jurisdiction should be limited.
The Biden administration is now finalizing new federal rules. In court documents, Attorney General Elizabeth Preloger, representing the administration, said Kennedy’s “significant relevance” test “has a significant impact on the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s traditional navigation waters.” He said it was preferable because it “covers adjacent wetlands that give.”