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Barrett ascension to Supreme Court spells trouble for environmental laws, regulations, some say

Much of the debate over Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court has focused on hot-button issues like abortion, health care, and the integrity of the presidential election. But the decisive conservative majority her confirmation would cement will also have serious repercussions for the environment and public health, with polluting industries almost certain to get freer rein than they have enjoyed for decades, legal experts say.

The transformation of the court that the Trump administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have muscled through since 2017 is likely to hamstring the ability of future administrations to act on threats from tainted drinking water to climate change, say these experts. Together, the new majority’s rulings could undermine not only specific health and environmental rules, but the very basis of government’s power to regulate.

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