Environmentalists are worried about Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. According to David Savage of the Los Angeles Times, “Environmentalists fear that if Kavanaugh joins the court, he would vote to block anti-pollution regulations for decades, long after President Trump has departed.” Pat Gallagher, legal director for the Sierra Club, goes perhaps further:
“He would be a disaster for the environment. He has a disdain for regulation, particularly from the EPA. Kennedy was the swing vote in this area. If we have to wait for Congress to act on climate change, we are doomed.”
The last sentence gives the story away. Environmentalists haven’t been able to convince Congress to pass the legislation they think is necessary so they have been relying, during the Obama administration, on federal agencies, especially the EPA, to do what they want. What environmentalists don’t like about Judge Kavanaugh is that he has been skeptical of federal agencies doing things that are arguably beyond what Congress has authorized them to do and that, ultimately, he is unwilling to let policy ends prevail over the means of proper process.