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Note: This “Moore to the Point” commentary aired on NewsTalkSTL on Friday, July 1st. Audio included below.
There’s an old saying that “ignorance is bliss,” and there’s a point to that – it’s hard to be upset about something you know nothing about. Except, what we’re seeing play out recently in regard to the Supreme Court highlights how ignorance can lead to anything but bliss. So much of the anger directed in the high court’s direction seems to stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of its role – and of civics as a whole.
Take reaction to Thursday’s ruling in West Virginia v. EPA – the Court held that Congress did not give the EPA the power to devise carbon emissions caps thwarting the approach the Agency took under the (Obama era) Clean Power Plan. One look at Twitter and you’d think the Court unilaterally melted the polar ice caps.
In reality, what the Court did is remind us that it is the legislative branch – not the executive – that is in charge of rule-making, and a federal agency only has only the power it is specifically granted by Congress.
In other words, the Court reaffirmed the respective powers of the three, co-equal branches of government, as set forth in our Constitution. Perhaps, if Americans had a better grasp of civics, to begin with, they wouldn’t be so undone by this notion.