Tracking Supreme Court decisions in this term’s major cases

Tracking Supreme Court Decisions In This Term’s Major Cases - Yvlzjw4Fujhrxdpp5Rp7Gqmq7Y

What they ruled: The Court cut back the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the nation’s wetlands and waterways. The Supreme Court had ruled in 2006 that wetlands are covered by the federal Clean Water Act if they have a “significant nexus” to regulated waters. Property rights groups and business organizations tried to limit regulation to wetlands and other areas directly connected to “navigable waters” — i.e. a stream, river or lake that someone could travel through on a boat. Justice Samuel A. Alito, writing for the majority May 25, said the act “extends to only those wetlands with a continuous surface connection to bodies that are ‘waters of the United States’ in their own right, so that they are ‘indistinguishable’ from those waters.”

Why it matters: Four presidential administrations have been mired in the fight over what constitutes a wetland, dating back to George W. Bush’s presidency. The ruling, the court’s second major…

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This article was written by Robert Barnes and originally published on