Dems target Supreme Court after it strikes down Biden's EPA waters rule

May 26, 2023
Robert Ayers

According to Fox News, Democrats are targeting the U.S. Supreme Court following its recent decision regarding the Biden administration's clean waters rule. 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), for example, released this statement following the court's decision:

This MAGA Supreme Court is continuing to erode our country's environmental laws. Make no mistake – this ruling will mean more polluted water, and more destruction of wetlands.

It's an odd statement considering that the court ruled unanimously, 9-0, in the case, and the court contains such liberal justices as Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Are these three individuals now "MAGA"? Or, is Schumer just doing what Democrats do best when they do not get their way, namely, using emotional language to push an illogical point of view with the hope of causing an uproar?


At issue in the case was the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) definition of "Waters of the United States (WOTUS)" in the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972.

The administration of President Joe Biden has changed the definition of WOTUS to be more expansive, including such waterways as wetlands, lakes, ponds, streams, and  "relatively permanent" waterways. This is essentially the same definition that was used during the administration of Barrack Obama.

The Biden administration has used this broad definition to regulate more waterways than it would have been able to under the old definition.

The specific case before the court resulted from the EPA's decision to prohibit two Idaho residents - Michael and Chantell Sackett - from building a home near a wetland.

Justice Samuel Alito's majority decision provides further details:

The EPA classified the wetlands on the Sacketts’ lot as "waters of the United States" because they were near a ditch that fed into a creek, which fed into Priest Lake, a navigable, intrastate lake. The Sacketts sued, alleging that their property was not "waters of the United States."

The ruling, and the White House's response

In a 9-0 decision, the justices of the Supreme Court, according to Fox, "held that the federal government's WOTUS definition must be restricted to a water source with a 'continuous surface connection' to major bodies of water."

The justices, however, split 5-4 on how exactly the government ought to go about defining a water source.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reacted to the decision at Thursday's press briefing, saying:

It will jeopardize the sources of clean drinking water for farmers, businesses and millions of Americans. President Biden will use every legal authority available to him to ensure Americans in every state have clean water.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), however, - who supported the Sacketts - sees the matter differently.

Morrisey argued that the decision is a "big win" in that it helps "to defend . . .  [our] jobs, our values, our freedoms, and our Constitution" and in that it helps to protect against "federal overreach."

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