The Supreme Court reinstated, for the time being, a Trump-era policy restricting the power of states and Native American tribes’ ability to stop pipelines and other power projects that might contaminate rivers, streams, and other wetlands.
The justices decided to halt the lower court’s conclusion of the judge that had thrown out the regulation in a 5-4 decision. The supreme court’s decision has no impact on the Biden administration’s scheme to amend the regulation.
The amendment process has begun, although the administration has said that a final rule would not be issued until spring 2023. In the process, the Trump-era rule will stay in effect, per report.
Three of the court’s liberal justice members, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts, objected. Other conservative justices on the court, including three Trump appointees, voted to reinstate the policy.
Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the objectors, said the coalition of states and business groups that had requested a delay of the lower court’s decision had not demonstrated the unusual circumstances required to approve the request.
If the conclusion of the judge is upheld, Kagan claims the organization has failed to establish its harm. In the months following the judge’s decision, Kogan said the organization had not identified a “single task that a State has blocked” and had twice postponed filing a request, showing it was not urgent.