The U.S. Supreme Court Monday ruled that federal district courts, not the federal court of appeals, have jurisdiction to review the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule.
The decision, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, “brings greater clarity” to an issue that has “bogged down” the litigation for years. AFBF general counsel Ellen Steen says the decision is positive, but also provides uncertainty because the Sixth Circuit must soon lift its nationwide stay of the 2015 rule.
The Environmental Protection Agency of the Trump Administration is reworking the rule but has not yet finalized the proposal to delay the 2015 WOTUS rule. Nearly all sides of the WOTUS rule declared the ruling a win, including environmental groups, as all sides argued that the rule did not fall within categories that the Clean Water Act stipulates belong in appeals courts.
However, the Trump Administration had argued that the challenges were legally within the purview of appeals courts because the rule touched on the EPA’s permitting authority.