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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is leading 19 states seeking Supreme Court review of the scope of EPA's authority over greenhouse gases.

Driving the news: The petition asks the high court to review January's appellate ruling that struck down a Trump-era rule on power plant CO2 emissions.

The big picture: The Trump rule adopted a narrow view of EPA's Clean Air Act authority that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected.

  • So if the high court accepts the case, it would set up an extremely high stakes legal battle before the court's 6-3 conservative majority.
  • "If EPA lacks such expansive authority, as we argue, the Supreme Court should make that clear now," Morrissey said in a statement alongside the petition from conservative-leaning states.

Why it matters: "The case, if granted, would be the biggest climate question to reach the Supreme Court in more than a decade," Bloomberg Law notes.

The intrigue: The Supreme Court takes just a tiny fraction of petitions. E&E News (subscription) reports that while this effort may face long odds, it’s a preview of challenges coming against Biden administration regulatory efforts around power plants.

Catch up fast: The high court's 2007 ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA gave EPA the power to regulate heat-trapping emissions.

  • It's unlikely the current court would overturn this recent precedent.
  • But legal observers say it could support significant constraints on federal regulators' running room under current law.
  • The new petition comes as the Biden administration plans wide-ranging climate initiatives.

Go deeper: The Supreme Court's coming rightward shift on climate

Go deeper

Aug 6, 2021 - Health

Supreme Court asked to weigh in on Indiana University vaccine mandate

The Indiana University campus. Photo: Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A lawyer representing Indiana University students filed an emergency petition on Friday asking the Supreme Court to block the school’s vaccine mandate, one of many set to take effect this fall.

Why it matters: It's the first time the nation's high court has been asked to weigh in on the issue. Public and private entities are increasingly mandating vaccines amid surges in COVID cases due to the Delta variant.

Updated 34 mins ago - Health

WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Health measures taken to combat COVID-19 before the emergence of Omicron would also help against the new variant of concern, World Health Organization officials said Friday.

What they're saying: Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, said during a virtual briefing broadcast from Manila, Philippines, that border controls imposed by the U.S. and other nations can "buy time" to deal with the variant, but warned "every country and every community must prepare for new surges in cases."

2 hours ago - Health

Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada's Public Employees' Benefit Program Board voted Thursday to charge workers enrolled in public employee health insurance plans a surcharge of up to $55 a month if they're not vaccinated against COVID-19, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state to announce such a move, per AP.

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