SCOTUSBlog reports that a divided Supreme Court held this morning that Clean Water Act is limited. Justice Scalia wrote a plurality, with Justice Kennedy concurring (and providing the fifth vote). It appears to be a signficiant win for the petitioners, but the key will be how much Kennedy's opinion modifies Scalia's plurality. More to follow once I've read and digested the opinions.
UPDATE: From the Associated Press:
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Monday that regulators may have misinterpreted the federal Clean Water Act in refusing to allow two Michigan property owners to build a shopping mall and condos on wetlands they own. At the same time, justices could not reach a consensus on whether government wetlands protections extend miles away from waterways. . . .
The court voided rulings against June Carabell and John Rapanos, who wanted to fill their wetlands near Lake St. Clair in Macomb County. Carabell wanted to build condos on wetlands she owns about a mile from the lake. Rapanos wanted to put a shopping mall on his property, which is about 20 miles from the lake.
Instead of ruling in the property owners' favor, as they requested, justices said lower courts must reconsider whether ditches and drains near wetlands are waters.
UPDATE: The opinions are now available here.
Related Posts (on one page):
- Scalia v. Roberts on Agency Deference in Rapanos:
- Preliminary Thoughts on Rapanos and Federalism - Much Ado About Very Little:
- More Perspectives on Rapanos:
- Initial Thoughts on Rapanos:
- Rapanos & Carabell Decided:
- Rapanos, Wetlands & State Regulation:
- Do Rapanos & Carabell Threaten the Everglades?
- Waiting for Rapanos (and Carabell Too):