Supreme Court Skeptical In Climate Change Suit Both conservative and liberal justices gave a chilly reception to state governments that are suing electric utilities over emissions that contribute to global warming. The justices questioned whether a federal judge could deal with the complex issue.
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Supreme Court Skeptical About Climate Change Suit

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Supreme Court Skeptical About Climate Change Suit

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Supreme Court Skeptical About Climate Change Suit

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MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

But, today, as NPR's Nina Totenberg reports, the justices seemed deeply skeptical about letting state governments get into the regulatory act through the courts.

NINA TOTENBERG: By the time the case was argued today, the political situation had changed again and the case looked like it could be a good deal more than a footnote. So says Richard Lazarus, director of the Georgetown University Supreme Court Institute.

RICHARD LAZARUS: Everything has changed again. You have a Congress which is trying to undo everything. They're trying to rewind back to 2004.

TOTENBERG: The federal common law gives the states a remedy for pollution, she said, and it cannot be that the mere promise of a regulation from the federal government is enough to prevent the states from acting in court. Her argument met with clear resistance from all the justices, both liberal and conservative.

EPA: Congress set up the EPA to promulgate standards for emission and now you want to have a district court judge be a kind of super EPA?

TOTENBERG: Nina Totenberg, NPR News, Washington.

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