The Supreme Court’s recent decision in West Virginia v. EPA not only throws a substantial hurdle ahead of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from coal power plants, it takes a vicious swipe at the entirety of the modern administrative state. Using a new invention—the “major questions doctrine”—the Supreme Court has set up an easy way for conservative judges across the country to invalidate any regulation that a judge finds to be of “vast significance.”

The Supreme Court has been on a bender of recent: reproductive rights (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization), school prayer (Kennedy v. Bremerton School District), tribal sovereignty (Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta), separation of church and state (Carson v. Makin), gun regulation (New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen). All of these controversial decisions were decided by a majority of Republican-appointed judges. This is not a coincidence but the product of a 40+ year movement by conservative activists.

How can environmentalists and progressives restrain the Supreme Court before we lose any more rights and still have a democracy? Listen in to hear more.


“The EcoNews Report,” July 9, 2022.