On Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency

The Supreme Court’s decision is a victory for the bad guys in the battle over whether the American people will be governed by accountable elected officials or unaccountable judges. Unable to convince the Senate to vote upon, let alone ratify, the Kyoto global warming treaty, the left has adopted the Kyoto-by-stealth strategy of asking judges to force its version of science into the pocketbooks of the American people.

Shame on them. And shame on the five Justices who agreed to do so today.

We learn from Justice Stevens today that carbon dioxide is ‘the most important… greenhouse gas.’ Science cannot confirm the Justice’s confident statement. The role of water vapor, the most plentiful greenhouse gas, is not yet understood. Nor is the role of carbon dioxide understood. Such uncertainty, among many others, is the reason scientists annually request and spend several billion dollars of funds supplied by hardworking U.S. taxpayers for research into climate change. Can the taxpayers now expect relief?

We shall see how many groups on the political left today ask: ‘How many peer-reviewed papers has Justice Stevens published?’

U.S. policies relating to the alleged threat of global warming should, as Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito said in their dissent, be determined by the Congress and the Chief Executive. As the dissenting Justices also observed, ‘[Global warming] is not a problem that… has escaped the attention of policymakers in the Executive and Legislative Branches of our Government, who continue to consider regulatory, legislative and treaty-based means of addressing global climate change.’

The Supreme Court should have stayed out of the way. The legislative and executive branches are empowered by the Constitution with the duty of setting environmental policies, and, unlike our rapacious judicial branch, also are accountable to the American people.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.