Quote of the Day - Being President is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There's nothing to do but stand there and take it. - Lyndon B. Johnson
New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is gloating. Along with 11 other State's Attorneys General, he challenged the USEPA's proposed regulations scaling back Clean Air Act regs.
As an early Christmas present, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals (actual opinion not released as of today) issued a decision on December 24 blocking the USEPA's loosened regs.
The import of the ruling is not so much that the Court blocked the USEPA's regulations changing the Clean Air Act, it's more that the Court prevented the USEPA from making a change by means of regulation. Although there appears to be no firm ruling yet, the Court signaled that it was not inclined to allow the USEPA (read: the Bush Administration) to change a legislative act by executive fiat.
In other words, the Court is upholding that old separation of powers. If President Bush wants to change laws, he has to do it through Congress, not by changing the regulations that implement the laws.
This article from the Salt Lake Tribune quoted several commentators, long ago quoted in this MIPTC blog posting. In fact, MIPTC scooped this New York Times article more than a month ago.
Nice to know you can get up-to-the-date news here first. Now you can stop reading the newspaper for legal news, and just turn to MIPTC.