Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Supreme Court Blocks Obama's Climate Change Plan
After the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21), Obama pushed for environmental conservation measures to ensure that US emissions are below the established threshold. On Tuesday February 9th, 2016, the Supreme Court decided to halt the implementation of the clean power plan (one of Obama's proposal), which would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.
The Supreme Court will most likely hear this case after President Obama officially leaves office. Bruce Huber, a professor from Notre Dame Law School, believes, "this is an exceedingly uncommon situation for the court to step in, and it jeopardizes the plan all together from going into affect while President Obama remains in office."
Several proponents of the plan believe that the conservative Supreme Court justices have a very strong opinion on the issue since the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has not heard oral arguments on the subject yet and since industries and states would not have to abide by the new rules for another two years. This raises a few questions because the Supreme Court is supposed to seem objective and nonpolitical. Due to natural biases, the four liberal justices are against the order, while the five conservative justices are in favor of the order.
To what extent should the Supreme Court justices be nonpolitical? Would it make much of a difference if the Supreme Court halted the clean power plan after it reached the high court? If the Supreme Court overturned the constitutionality of the plan, what other proposals should be made to limit carbon emissions?