ACRU

ACRU: Obama’s ‘Julius Caesar Option’ Usurps Legislative Power

EPA Has No Authority to Issue ‘Greenhouse Gas’ Rules that Congress Refused to Enact, Supreme Court Brief Says

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 18, 2013) — Under President Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is violating the Constitution’s clear separation of powers by issuing “greenhouse gas” emission regulations that Congress explicitly rejected, the American Civil Rights Union argues in a brief filed Dec. 16 at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Written by ACRU General Counsel Peter Ferrara, the brief in Utility Air Regulatory Group v U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes that, “Our Constitution’s fundamental framework provides for the people’s representatives in Congress to set policy by legislative action, and for the executive to execute it as enacted. It does not provide for the Executive to bypass the will of the legislative branch. …

“President Obama repeatedly taunts the Congress, the people’s elected representatives … with the threat, ‘If the Congress doesn’t act, I will.’ Nowhere in our Constitution is there any executive power for the Executive to bypass the intent of Congress in this way.”

The brief notes that an effort to pass legislation regulating “carbon dioxide and other supposed greenhouse gas emissions” failed even when both houses of Congress were controlled by the president’s party, “which reflected a rising tidal wave of well-grounded public opposition.”

The EPA’s subsequent issuing of “greenhouse gas” rules is evidence, the brief says, that “the Administration is trying to shoehorn its global warming regulatory agenda into a Clean Air Act that was never intended, and so is not suited, to carrying this freight.”

By ignoring the constitutional separation of powers, the brief states, “the Administration is consequently at present taking this nation back before the Magna Carta. Call it the Julius Caesar option.”