Apr 30, 2014
The Obama administration won a rare Supreme Court victory regarding the rights of the EPA to regulate pollution from coal plants. Instead of the usual 5-4 decision against anything the Obama Administration wants, this decision was a 6-2 decision. And you get 1 guess as to who the 2 opposed were. Yep, Scalia and Thomas.
Well, the minority dissent opinion was written by Scalia, and according to this report from TPM Scalia really screwed up the opinion.
"This is not the first time EPA has sought to convert the Clean Air Act into a mandate for cost-effective regulation. Whitman v. American Trucking Assns., Inc., 531 U. S. 457 (2001), confronted EPA's contention that it could consider costs in setting [National Ambient Air Quality Standards]," Scalia wrote in his dissent, which was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas.
The problem: the EPA's position in the 2001 case was exactly the opposite. The agency was defending its refusal to consider cost as a counter-weight to health benefits when setting certain air quality standards. It was the trucking industry that wanted the EPA to factor in cost. The 9-0 ruling sided with the EPA. The author of the ruling that Scalia mischaracterized? Scalia himself.
The conservative justice's error was noted by University of California-Berkeley law professor Dan Farber, who called it "embarrassing" and a "cringeworthy blunder."
But wait, it gets better.
"This gaffe is doubly embarrassing because Scalia wrote the opinion in the case, so he should surely remember which side won!Looks like someone isn't taking their job very seriously, or maybe it's time to "spend more time with the family". Of course, does anyone really believe Scalia isn't the most political of the Justices?
... "It is a mind-blowing misstatement of a basic fact of the American Trucking Association ruling which Justice Scalia himself wrote. And it's not just a stray passage -- it's the basis for an entire section of the dissent,"