Will Obama Get a Fourth Major Victory Tomorrow in Michigan v. EPA?
Decision Expected Tomorrow, Written by Someone Other than Scalia
Though the monumental decisions on health care and marriage equality are behind us, tomorrow remains another big day in the Supreme Court. Three cases remain undecided: Glossip v. Gross (whether Oklahoma’s execution methods are unconstitutional); Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (whether a state commission can draw Congressional electoral lines) and Michigan v. EPA (whether EPA’s rules governing hazardous air emissions from power plants are valid). The latter decision puts the Obama Administration’s stringent air pollution rules on the line and, if upheld, will represent the fourth major victory for the Administration since last Thursday (health care, marriage equality and fair housing). I’ve described at length what’s at stake in Michigan v. EPA here. Before last Friday’s decisions came out, conventional wisdom predicted that Justice Scalia would write the opinion in the Michigan case because he was the only justice who hadn’t written a majority opinion from the March oral argument calendar. Friday’s decision in a case almost no one paid attention to, Johnson v. U.S. however, was written by Scalia. That means he’s written eight opinions this term while several other Justices have written only six or seven. Speculation is rampant over who will get the opinion but odds are that it won’t be Justice Scalia, the person who seems most hostile to the mercury rules. That’s certainly good news for EPA.