The Supreme Court will not pause a case concerning the Obama administration’s Waters of the U.S. Rule in a blow to the Trump administration. The justices’ decision came with no explanation.
The White House opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ rule and asked the court to hold off on the case while the agencies formally consider repealing it.
The Supreme Court case, National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, does not concern the merits of the controversial regulation.
Instead, the industry groups opposed to the rule want the high court to overturn the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s opinion that it has the primary jurisdiction over the case. The Sixth Circuit decision had consolidated cases filed in dozens of other federal circuit and district courts.
Supporters of the WOTUS rule, including environmental groups and some Democratic states, want the case to stay consolidated at the Sixth Circuit. They also asked the Supreme Court not to delay its case.
President Trump formally asked the EPA and Army Corps to reconsider the rule in February, calling it “a horrible, horrible rule.” The agencies began reconsideration process shortly after Trump signed an executive order.
The Supreme Court has asked litigants to submit their first briefs later this month. The justices have not scheduled oral arguments.
Some observers say the best way to deal with this is via legislation, where the outlook for such action is good in the House, but Senate Democrats in the past have not given support to anti-WOTUS rule legislation.