The web of unconstitutional executive orders and initiatives President Barack Obama has weaved during almost seven years in the White House will take a while for the courts to unravel.
However, at least one of Obama’s signature pieces of big-government environmentalism may have just been dealt a devastating death blow by a federal court.
The Cincinnati-based Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a 2-1 stay against Obama’s Waters of the United States initiative, saying that it was “at odds” with Supreme Court precedent, according to The Hill.
The Waters of the United States plan, which wasn’t voted on by Congress, would essentially give the Environmental Protection Agency jurisdiction over any body of water larger than your bathtub. Wetlands, small ponds and even drainage ditches on private property could fall under the domain of the EPA.
“A stay allows for a more deliberate determination whether this exercise of executive power, enabled by Congress and explicated by the Supreme Court, is proper under the dictates of federal law,” the decision stated.
The court only issued a stay because it is still investigating whether it has the jurisdiction to rule on the initiative. However, the opinion made it clear the judges think the new rules are unconstitutional.
“Small businesses everywhere this morning are breathing a sigh of relief,” Karen Harned, executive director of the federation’s legal arm, said in a statement.
“The court very properly acknowledged that the WOTUS rule has created a ‘whirlwind of confusion’ and that blocking its implementation in every state is the practicable way to resolve the deep legal question of whether it can withstand constitutional muster.”
Environmentalists, predictably, used the occasion to fear-monger.
“We strongly disagree with this irresponsible decision that lets polluters continue to put the drinking water of one in three Americans at risk,” Madeleine Foote, a lobbyist with the League of Conservation Voters, said, according to The Hill.