Yesterday's Supreme Court decision (Mass. v. EPA) still baffles many a reader. What was it about? Who won? What did they win?
Forget about the "law" for a moment and think back to Woody Allen's movie, "Bananas". There is a scene in there where the allegedly benevolent dictator takes over, goes mad (goes bananas) and declares that all citizens must now wear their underwear on the outside instead of down under where they used to.
How would the U.S. Supreme Court handle such a situtation if, say, some concerned citizens sued and wanted the Dictator to deregulate underwear?
The conservative 4 on the bench may see it this way: He is after all the Administrator (El Dictator). He is entitled to do what is appropriate in "his judgment". Who are we to interfere with the judgment of El Dictator? The people have no standing to complain about the underwear situation. We say, "stay the course". Keep the underwear on the outside. Conservativism is all about avoiding change.
The bleeding brain liberals may see it this way: Although the law says "his judgment"; surely the law makers could not have been so stupid as to mean even if the Adminstrator is irrational. Besides, another part of the law requires the Administrator (Dictator) to demonstrate that he is rational by articulating a "reasonable" explantion for his ruling. Ergo, since he has not yet articulated any rational explanation, the people do have a right to challenge his sanity.
Well there you have it. The 5-to-4 majority in Mass. v. EPA is saying that the EPA's Adminstrator must demonstrate that he is not bananas in refusing to regulate CO2 emissions from automobiles. So far, in "their judgment" he has not risen to the reasonably rational level. On the other hand, CO2 levels have risen to the reasonably alarm-worthy level.