The U.S. Supreme Court rendered a decision in favor of the administration of former President Donald Trump in the steel tariffs case, in contrast to the present administration led by President Joe Biden.
USP Holdings argued that the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs was unsuitable, as explicited in their vain appeal to the lower courts. In response to USP Holdings and other steel importers’ claims that the tariffs had negatively impacted their operations, the Biden administration primarily maintained the current tariff rates while presenting counterarguments.
“The Biden administration understands that simply lifting steel tariffs without any solution in place, particularly beyond the dialogue, could well mean layoffs and plant closures in Pennsylvania and in Ohio and other states where obviously the impact would be felt not only economically but politically,” Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, said.
“Trump cited Section 232 of the Trade Act of 1962, which permits the president to impose restrictions on the importation of goods deemed essential to national security. He said at the time that the tariffs were needed to bolster the production of airplanes, ships, and military materials with U.S. steel. The tariffs created tension with some U.S. allies, although some countries were exempted from the policy,” the report added.
“The Supreme Court turned away the petition in USP Holdings Inc. v. United States, court file 22-565, in an unsigned order. The court didn’t explain its decision. No justices dissented from the order. In April 2017, then-Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross commenced an investigation to determine whether “steel was being imported under such circumstances as to threaten or impair national security,” according to the petition filed with the Supreme Court,” it continued.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court has been diligently performing its responsibilities.
It appears that the Supreme Court is well-equipped to render decisions that could substantially disrupt climate change litigation during this term.
Boyden Gray, a former White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush and counsel to the vice president during the Reagan administration, offered an analysis of the persistent difficulty federal courts confront in determining the jurisdiction of climate change litigation in a Fox News opinion piece. The matter under consideration concerns the appropriate jurisdiction for these litigations—whether they should be subject to state or federal law. A resolution to this dilemma would ultimately require the involvement of the Supreme Court.
“For over a century, the Supreme Court has held that lawsuits over air (and water) pollution that crosses state lines must be decided under federal law. This means overreaching states and cities cannot impose their environmental agendas on their neighbors or otherwise hijack the domain of federal environmental law, federal regulations, and international treaties,” Gray wrote.
“The Supreme Court unanimously extended this principle in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut (AEP). That case, decided in 2011, involved federal-law claims by eight states, New York City, and others to compel certain power companies to abate their greenhouse-gas emissions. In an opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the court concluded that applying federal law was appropriate, then agreed with the Obama administration that those claims couldn’t proceed in court at all because Congress has delegated the regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act,” he added.
Gray then elaborated on two additional occurrences in which forward-thinking municipalities and states have initiated legal proceedings in pursuit of billions of dollars in substantial monetary compensation. The foundation of these claims is the assertion that the damages suffered are allegedly attributable to climate change. This includes both past and present impacts, as well as projected future repercussions.
However, their present approach entails citing state statutes as a means to bypass the contention raised by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The 2nd Circuit in 2021 dismissed such claims outright in the City of New York v. Chevron Corp. There, New York City sued a handful of energy companies under state law for damages allegedly caused by climate change. The court concluded that “over a century” of Supreme Court precedent makes clear that federal law necessarily applies to lawsuits relating to air pollution that crosses state lines, which includes greenhouse gas emissions. Following AEP, the Second Circuit dismissed the case.
Three of these cases are now before the Supreme Court—the 3rd Circuit’s decision in Delaware v. BP America Inc., the 9th Circuit’s decision in Chevron Corp. v. San Mateo County, and the 10th Circuit’s decision in Suncor Energy (U.S.A.) Inc. v. Board of County Commissioners of Boulder County. The energy companies in each case have asked the court to intervene and resolve both splits, reaffirming that climate change lawsuits are inherently governed by federal law and therefore belong in federal court.
Gray issued a warning that the Supreme Court has the ability to deal a substantial setback to those who support liberal ideologies and attempt to manipulate legal frameworks in order to negatively affect large corporations under the pretext of addressing climate change, during this term.