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Don't Mind Me, I'll Just Ignore You

It was featured here when the case was just in its infancy before the Supremes decided Engine Manufacturers against the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The SCAQMD tried to bypass the preemption doctrines of the Clean Air Act by regulating the purchase of fleet cars, not the manufacture of the cars.

Didn't work.

The Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia in particular, saw right through it. The basic message was that the Clean Air Act regulates manufacturing of cars, and without purchasing, manufacturing has no meaning. So, regulation of purchasing is regulation of manufacturing, and if that's what you're trying to do, then it's not going to work.

Now there's still room for wrangling yet, and you can bet we haven't seen the last of this case - especially with the SCAQMD saying "We are determined to continue implementing the rules for publicly owned fleets. We will also consider asking the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to allow us to continue to regulate privately owned fleets, according to
Barry Wallerstein, executive officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Sounds to me like they haven't read the whole decision.

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, April 29, 2004

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