Sotomayor No Tree Hugger

Here’s a quick summary of a story in last Friday’s Daily Journal (subscribers only)  in which your blogger took a look at Sonia Sotomayor’s environmental record as a judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In short, her ruling against the Bush administration in Riverkeeper v. EPA, which was recently reversed by the Supreme Court, doesn’t tell the whole story:

For experts on environmental law, the case, which focused on how to interpret parts of the Clean Water Act relating to water-intake mechanisms in power plants, highlights how Sotomayor could be expected to vote like [Justice David H.] Souter when it comes to deciding such environmental issues. Her record in other environmental cases, however, may give environmentalists reason to pause.

Souter, who intends to retire at the end of June, is generally regarded as a relatively reliable vote for environmental causes.

Beyond the Riverkeeper case, however, Sotomayor’s role in other environmental cases suggests a slightly more middle-of-the road approach.

Published by

Lawrence Hurley

Reporter based in Washington