President Obama prophesied at the United Nations last week that climate change is the “one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other,” and perhaps this vision of Apocalypse explains why he thinks he can disregard the law to regulate carbon. Whatever they think about warming, the courts may pay more respect to statutes.
This month a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s new climate rules under the Clean Air Act. The order was unusual because the courts generally review rules only after they are finalized, which could take another year or more. The Ohio-based coal company Murray Energy and a dozen states are suing under the All Writs Act of 1789.
Murray drew a D.C. Circuit panel including a liberal (Judge Sri Srinivasan ), a moderate (Judge Thomas Griffith ) and a conservative (senior Judge Douglas Ginsburg ). Murray also happens to be correct on the legal merits.