Judicial review

Judicial review is an important power of the courts in order to bring legislation or statutes and other rules in line with the constitution. However judicial review can be abused. All depends on the ideological and political perspectives of the majority bloc in the Supreme Court. For example. a group of six Supreme Court justices decided in February 2(122 that the clean air act was in effect not worth defending.

in that carbon pollution from coal fired electricity generating plants could only be addressed by the environmental protection agency taking action with respect to one generating plant at a time. This is called ring fencing. The fence line of the generating plant creates a wall beyond which carbon emissions cannot be addressed. This is a nonsense.

It is a nonsense because no coal fired electricity generating plant can be conceived of or operated without being connected to a grid. Therefore. the relevant unit of analysis for carbon emissions control is the grid not the plant. However. in West Virginia the EPA 2022. the Supreme Court made the decision limiting carbon action to a single plant and issuing what is in gffegj: an advisory to Congress.

This advisory to Congress limits the environmental protection agency which is in the process of devising new rules for reducing carbon pollution of the atmosphere. The Supreme Court was giving notice to the EPA that it could not produce mles that extend to beyond the fenceline of a single plant. In effect the Supreme Court was saying it would find unconstitutional. or find other reasons to mle out. any set of provisions from the EPA which went beyond the fenceline. This means that the EPA can’t recommend or require a shifting of fuels from coal to other cleaner sources.

This means that the environmental protection agency can no longer implement the clean air act. Carbon is a serious greenhouse gas but the clean air act. which does recognize carbon as a pollutant. cannot enforce carbon emissions reductions. specifically from electricity generating plants. While this isn’t stricdy an example of judicial review and is in efiect an example of advice (Supreme Court advice to Congress}. it is an example of overreach by a Supreme Court significantly composed by Donald Trump and the Federalist Society.

that is very favorable to the fossil fuel industry. We can imagine other instances in which review by the Supreme Coun of a particular statute as it is being applied in a particular situation might be very useful.