On Montana Toxic Cleanup Case, Justices Signal EPA Should Stay In Driver’s Seat | Another Court Decision On Trump’s Financial Records
December 4, 2019
WHO'S ON CLEANUP DUTY|
The Supreme Court yesterday heard a case from Montana about whether a company that cleaned up a copper smelter in the state must do more in response to a lawsuit filed by about 100 local residents in state court. The basic question in the case is whether the EPA has to approve the additional remediation efforts sought by the locals. Justices appeared generally wary of letting the Montanans sue Atlantic Richfield Company to have the organization go beyond what was required by federal standards for the cleanup. Rather, both liberal and conservative justices seemed to suggest that the EPA must make the ultimate decisions on cleaning up toxic waste sites. CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS said during oral arguments that there could be “significant adverse impacts” from landowners taking actions that the EPA would oppose.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST|
Yesterday, a federal appeals court upheld the House of Representatives’ subpoenas of DONALD TRUMP’S financial records, compelling Deutsche Bank and Capital One to hand over the president’s detailed banking records to two congressional committees. The ruling from the Second Circuit in New York is likely to be appealed to SCOTUS, but Trump has seven days to seek a further delay from the Supreme Court before the banks must comply with the subpoenas from Congress.
WHAT'S THE RUSH|
Ian Millhiser with Vox reports on the Trump Justice Department pushing to “resume capital punishment” after a “nearly two decade lapse.” He covers the legal issue put in front of SCOTUS in which the Justice Department “wants the justices to bypass the judiciary’s ordinary procedures so that [four] men can be executed right away — effectively circumventing the careful consideration judges typically give to novel legal questions.”
Jim Petro shares a piece in The New York Times titled, “I Oversaw Executions. We Cannot Resume the Federal Death Penalty.” Petro argues that after seeing the death penalty up close for years, it is clear to him that it is a failed policy. “That is why I have called on the Trump administration to stop the executions planned for Dec. 9 for five men, the first federal executions in 16 years. I am joined by hundreds of former and current state and federal prosecutors, former judges, correctional officials and people who lost loved ones to homicide. On Monday, though, the administration asked the Supreme Court to allow those executions by lethal injection to proceed, arguing that it should overturn a lower court order putting a hold on them so the prisoners could challenge execution procedures.”
DO NO HARM|
In new amicus briefs submitted to the court this week, several major medical groups, as well as the American Bar Association, are weighing in against the Louisiana abortion law set to go before SCOTUS next year. Sarah McCammon with NPR says the medical groups “argue the law — which requires doctors who perform abortions in Louisiana to have hospital admitting privileges — is medically unnecessary and harmful to patients.”