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US Supreme Court limits government authority against emissions, but authorizes end to immigration action

The United States Supreme Court ruled this Thursday (30) to limit the government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to regulate emissions of pollutants from power plants, on the same day that the Joe Biden administration authorized the end of a controversial Donald Trump-era migratory action (2017-2021).

In a decision written by the court’s president, John Roberts, and supported by the other five conservative judges, the country’s highest court concluded that the Clean Air Act does not give the EPA broad authority to regulate emissions from existing installations.

The decision does not criticize the limits on carbon dioxide emissions, which it considers “a sensible solution to the crisis of our time” – citing an earlier decision – but denies that the Environmental Protection Agency has the power to regulate them in the context of the Clean Air Act, which was written decades ago.

Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schu mer, criticized the Supreme Court’s decision, comparing it to last week’s ruling that overturned federal jurisprudence on abortion and saying it “will cause more unnecessary deaths – in this case, due to increased pollution,” in a statement issued minutes after the announcement. of the decision.

Republican leader in the upper house, Mitch McConnell, celebrated the decision to “turn power back to the people”, an argument similar to the one used to praise the decision on abortion, which did not prohibits medical termination of pregnancy, but gives states the power to authorize it or not.

The three progressive Supreme Court justices issued a dissenting opinion criticizing the court for “taking the EPA’s power to given to it by Congress to respond to the ‘greatest environmental challenge of our time,’” citing an earlier ruling.

“The court gives itself, not Congress or the specialized agency, the ability to make decisions on environmental policy. I can’t think of many more frightening things than that,” wrote Judge Elena Kagan.

Some American media see the decision as a sign of a tendency by the court’s conservative majority to limit authority. of federal agencies in favor of more legislative action.

Immigration

In another decision Thursday, the United States Supreme Court authorized the President Joe Biden to abolish the Remain in Mexico program, an immigration policy introduced by his predecessor, Donald Trump, that forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are reviewed.

In his First day in the White House, Biden tried to end the program, but a federal judge in Texas ordered him reinstated. With that, the administration appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled in its favor, considering that the decision does not violate the law.

The highest US court has not evaluated Trump’s immigration policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), but the legality of Biden’s decision to end the program.

By a score of five votes in favor and four against, Supreme Court justices concluded that the memorandum issued in October of last year by the government to end Remain in Mexico did not violate federal immigration law.

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