John M. Williams ([email protected])

The United States Supreme Court has issued a stay putting on hold the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Enforcement of the rule is stayed at least until the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rules on a challenge to the rule later this year. The challenge was brought by a group of states, utilities and coal operators. If the rule is upheld, the stay would likely remain in place while review before the Supreme Court is sought.

This is not a ruling by the Court on the merits of the challenge to the rule. Rather, the Court has ordered that the rule be put on hold until the court challenges are decided. The practical effect is that the EPA will not be able to enforce the September 6 deadline given states to submit their emissions-reduction plans for approval. The stay does, however, indicate the Court may be skeptical of the government's prospects of prevailing on the merits.

The Court's four liberal justices -- Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan -- dissented from the Court's ruling.


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