• Dave Harmon, PW editor

Editorial: Roberts' opinion in NMon case should set off alarm bells for environmentalists

The Supreme Court turned away a major challenge to the president’s ability to protect marine ecosystems on Monday, a victory for the environment that comes with a caveat: Chief Justice John Roberts expressed his desire to narrow—really, eviscerate—the executive branch’s power to safeguard large areas of environmentally sensitive lands, especially those underwater, in the future.

Roberts’ opinion invites industry groups to challenge the scope of submerged national monuments, and it suggests that, next time around, the chief justice will shrink these critical habitats down to a fraction of their former size. It is an ominous sign for conservationists and a direct attack on one of America’s most important environmental laws.

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