Did carbon emissions ruling open unanticipated possibilities?
Lawsuits have long been the weapon of choice for leftwingers. One powerful ruling came in the case of Massachusetts et al. v. EPA et al.
The Pew Center for Global Climate Change explained the suit: “On April 2, 2007 the Supreme Court released its ruling in the case of the state of Massachusetts vs. the Environmental Protection Agency. Massachusetts and eleven other states, along with several local governments and non-governmental organizations (petitioners), sued the EPA for not regulating the emissions of four greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), from the transportation sector. The petitioners claimed that human-influenced global climate change was causing adverse effects, such as sea-level rise, to the state of Massachusetts.”
SCOTUS bought into science by consensus, dismissing any assertions contradicting manmade global warming, and ruled 5-4 in favor of Massachusetts. Some might say SCOTUS also dismissed common sense.
But the suit suggests a legal door swung open a bit wider and there may be possibilities that don’t just apply to the environment or to leftwingers.
Numerous federal agencies involved in immigration refuse to uphold the law when it comes to undocumented aliens. One example is the housekeeper who, allegedly with union support and a celebrity lawyer, damaged Meg Whitman’s reputation and thereby damaged her gubernatorial campaign. The housekeeper confessed to fraudulent acts publicly.
She’s reportedly still in the country.
A similar situation happened in Jacksonville, Florida, when local deputies answered a call at an apartment. The tenants were fighting among themselves and they volunteered to police they were in the country illegally. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told a local TV news station they would not investigate the case. The aliens worked for a popular local restaurant chain.
There are countless public cases of the federal government doing nothing even when a person’s status does not comply with federal law.
As for damages related to lapses in immigration enforcement, that’s fairly easy to prove in a general way. Even Mexico acknowledged it by filing a suit against the U.S. on behalf of 51 death row inmates who were in the U.S. yet claimed retention of their Mexican citizenship. Some of those inmates had received an education in the U.S. and lived here for years. How many American citizens’ families were harmed by those 51 convicted criminals? Imagine the extent of the damages, not just monetary but emotional.
Even the American Federation of Government Employees, National Council 118, expressed concern about federal enforcement lapses. Members cast a vote of ‘no confidence’ on behalf of more than 7,000 ICE employees in ICE director John Morton and his assistant director in June.
Did the Massachusetts et al case open the door wider for lawsuits that seek redress of grievances when certain federal employees don’t uphold the law and damages can be proved? It appears the standard for proving those damages is not very stringent, based on the case against the EPA.
At the least, possibilities might be explored in situations where refusal to regulate exists. What works for the left may conceivably work for the right.