Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, announced Wednesday afternoon, sent shock waves across the capital, with experts and pundits rushing to analyze the potential repercussions. For the future of environmental protection and climate action, the news means “nothing good,” according to legal experts.
During Kennedy’s time on the bench over the past three decades, he has served as the deciding vote in many cases, including some landmark environmental rulings. Most notably, Kennedy was the critical fifth vote in Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007. This case established two major precedents: that states can sue the federal government for failing to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and that greenhouse gas emissions are pollutants under the Clean Air Act and the EPA must decide whether and how to regulate them.
Kennedy’s retirement is “terrible news for environmental law and the protection of public health and the environment,” Patrick Parenteau, law professor and senior counsel in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School, told ThinkProgress.
As most experts agree, Kennedy will almost certainly be replaced with a more conservative judge, tipping the balance further to the right and leaving key environmental protection rulings vulnerable.
Source: Here’s what environmental law experts think about Justice Kennedy’s retirement – ThinkProgress
The backlash to the Trump administration caging immigrant children has led to store owners asking White House officials to not eat in their restaurants and to protesters publicly confronting those supporting Trump’s policies. Now, voices on the far-right are increasingly unified in their only solution to the matter: civil war.
While several far-right figures have been speculating about a looming U.S. break-up for some time, recent rhetoric is a marked escalation from even a few months ago, when certain historical illiterates were only calling for an “amicable divorce.”
Now, according to increasingly shrill analysts — and even certain members of Congress — a fratricidal war is the only potential fix for the United States’ domestic tensions.
Source: Far-right voices are frothing about a looming civil war – ThinkProgress
Pro-independence parties have restarted talks on the formation of an effective government in Catalonia. The negotiations broke down two weeks ago, following a wave of mutual reproaches and criticism. However, the announcement of the Spanish government that it will use its direct rule over Catalonia to eliminate Catalan as a vernacular language at schools has forced ERC and JxCat to understand each other and accelerate their negotiations.
A number of possible formulas to swear in Puigdemont as president are under discussion. The possibility of forming a dual government with some members in Brussels and others in Barcelona appears to be the most feasible one. In an interview with ACN (Catalan News Agency), Elsa Artadi (JxCat) said that her party and the ERC are preparing the necessary logistics to make it possible to govern from both places.
She also said that Puigdemont has to be sworn in even though the Spanish Constitutional Court and the Spanish government are determined to prevent it from happening. She explains that Puigdemont cannot be just a symbolic figure. For her candidacy, she has to “govern, be part of the executive power and have completelegitimacy.” Artadi added that Puigdemont should be the leader of the country, the one “setting the tone” of Catalonia’s politics.
Source: Dual Government in Catalonia? : Josep Goded