Tuesday, Republican Supreme Court Justices used their majority to derail what stands to be the most meaningful climate action ever taken by the US.
While Supreme Court Justices are supposedly non-partisan actors, the US Supreme Court is clearly divided along party lines, with five Republicans and four Democrats.
While the Democrats voted to allow the rules to take effect, the majority Republican group opposed that vote, and issued orders:
“the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,’ is stayed pending disposition of the applicants’ petitions for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and disposition of the applicants’ petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is sought.”
Because of the Supreme Court’s schedule and the complex nature of this case, Tuesday evening’s order could delay the rules until after President Obama leaves office. In fact the rules may never go into effect because they are now dependent on the outcome of this year’s presidential election.