Wetlands, Environmental Protection and the New Supreme Court

July 26, 2006
Jonathan E. Rinde
The Legal Intelligencer

With the recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court in two cases regarding wetlands, court watchers are trying to determine how the two latest court appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, will view federal environmental protection.

Siding with the more conservative members of the court, Roberts and Alito showed that they may not necessarily defer to federal agencies' view of the scope of their jurisdiction, and may restrict, in the future, federal environmental protection. The court's plurality opinion in Carabell, et al. v. United States Army Corps of Engineers and Rapanos v. U.S. perhaps show how deeply divided this court may be in the future on the scope of federal environmental protection.

View Document(s):