Supreme Court won’t pause Obama water rule case

The Supreme Court will not pause a case concerning the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule in a rebuke to the Trump administration.

The justices’ decision came on Monday with no explanation.

The White House opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ rule and asked the court to hold off on the case while the agencies formally consider repealing it.

The rule asserted federal power over small waterways such as streams and wetlands to protect them from pollution. It remains on hold after a federal appeals court in 2015 put a judicial stay on the measure while it is litigated.

The Supreme Court case, National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, does not concern the merits of the highly controversial regulation.Instead, the industry groups opposed to the rule want the high court to overturn the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit’s opinion that it has the primary jurisdiction over the case.

The 6th Circuit decision had consolidated cases filed in dozens of other federal circuit and district courts.

Supporters of the water rule, including environmental groups and some Democratic states, want the case to stay consolidated at the 6th Circuit. They also asked the Supreme Court not to delay its case.

President Trump formally asked the EPA and Army Corps to reconsider the rule, also known as Waters of the United States, in February, calling it “a horrible, horrible rule.”

The agencies kicked off the reconsideration process shortly after Trump signed an executive order.

The Supreme Court has asked litigants to submit their first briefs later this month. The justices have not scheduled oral arguments.