It’s entertaining to see how ABC portrayed this, if your definition of ‘entertaining’ includes ‘being presented with obnoxiously slanted material:’
U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota issued a temporary injunction against a the rule, which gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers authority to protect some streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. The rule was scheduled to take effect Friday.
“The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely,” Erickson said in blocking the rule from taking effect.
Yes, Judge Erickson would be generally correct, there. Basically, the Clean Water Rule is a big step forward in the Obama administration’s ongoing attempts to neuter state governments: to quote Forbes, it “defines “waters of the U.S.” to include virtually any wet area — even a rain-fed temporary pool — that is close to any other body of water with a physical connection to a navigable waterway.” Naturally, the states freaked out – and note that this is a temporary injunction, not a final decision. We’re going to the Supreme Court, folks. On the other hand, Forbes was mordantly expecting that there wouldn’t be an injunction in the first place*, so the forces of limited government are already ahead on points on this one. Or at least is back to being tied on the scoreboard.
By the way: the Obama administration has nobody but themselves to blame for the abysmal reputation that is fueling the reaction to this lawsuit. An administration that didn’t routinely grab every scrap of regulatory and executive power for itself might have been able to present a plan for water use and not have it immediately spawn a plethora of lawsuits. Emphasis on might; the apparent need to redefine temporary pools of ditch-water as ‘wetlands’ sounds inherently suspect. But the administration has done itself no favors with its past actions.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*The very short version on this is that there are at least ten lawsuits going on, here: and a federal judge in West Virginia declined today to issue a temporary injunction for the case in her district, citing jurisdictional issues (all the cases are to be consolidated, and heard by the Sixth Circuit’s Court of Appeals). A judge in Georgia did the same. …Not that it matters, because the North Dakota injunction throws a monkey wrench in the gears anyway.