Any federal regulation that could address the climate crisis will likely receive heightened scrutiny from the Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority, environmental lawyers warn. They point to references by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Gorsuch to statements by then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and President Obama in 2014 that reveal the supermajority’s long-standing eagerness to use its new “major questions” doctrine to strike down any regulation it views as being crafted to reduce climate pollution, even if reducing climate pollution is an incidental or ancillary benefit.

“I think it’s a mark of how … aggressive this Supreme Court seems,” Lisa Heinzerling, a Georgetown law professor who crafted the winning arguments in the Supreme Court’s 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA ruling, recognizing federal authority to regulate greenhouse gas pollution under the Clean Air Act, told E&E News. “How — to me — untrustworthy it seems and how worried we should be in the aftermath [of West Virginia v. EPA] that just talking about climate might get [EPA] into trouble.” (E&E News, InsideEPA)