Does federal law empower the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate every non-moving source of carbon dioxide in America? The Supreme Court will decide that question in early 2014.
The Supreme Court decided Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007, a lawsuit brought by the Bay State (with the support of Gov. Mitt Romney) to force the Bush EPA to make a finding as to whether carbon dioxide is a pollutant that endangers the environment. The Court surprised many legal experts when it held in a 5-4 decision, led by the liberal wing of the Court, that states have standing under Article III of the Constitution to sue the federal government over questions of federal law, despite the fact that it was disputed (1) whether global warming is even happening at all, (2) if so, whether it is caused by human activity generating GHGs (greenhouse gases) like carbon dioxide, and further (3) that is undisputed that only 20 percent of GHGs come from the United States, so no Supreme Court order could effectively remedy this problem even if it exists.