Here’s another really important story that the drama over the shutdown has been pushing to the sidelines. The Supreme Court is teeing up several potentially groundbreaking rulings. SCOTUS agreed this week to hear a case about whether or not the EPA has the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories under the Clean Air Act. It’s a case that could potentially check President Obama’s signature green policy measure and that has major implications for America’s coal industry.The Court has already heard arguments on an affirmative action case relating to a Michigan law that prevents colleges from discriminating or showing preferential treatment based on sex or race. The Los Angeles Times outlines the other big cases on the docket:
The justices are being asked to hear cases from Oklahoma in which they could uphold limits on the use of the abortion pill and require pregnant women seeking abortions to undergo ultrasound tests to see the fetus…. By next spring, the justices are likely to revisit part of President Obama’s healthcare law to decide a religious-rights challenge to the requirement that large private employers provide their workers with coverage for contraceptives…The upcoming term “is actually deeper in important cases than either of the last two terms,” said Irving Gornstein, executive director of the Supreme Court Institute at the Georgetown University’s law school.
Some of the foundations of the modern regulatory state are up for review, and whatever the justices decide, this year will be a reminder of the power of the judicial branch.
[Supreme Court image courtesy of Shutterstock]