Election 2020-Judicial Appointments

FILE - Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.

(The Center Square) - A U.S. Senator from New Mexico blasted the Supreme Court as being radically conservative for a unanimous decision it issued this week. 

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, attacked the Supreme Court's decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency and blamed the court's conservative majority for the ruling.

“The Supreme Court’s radical conservative majority has once again rolled back precedent, disregarded science, and put the health and well-being of New Mexicans at risk," Heinrich said in a press release. "This time, they’ve done it by taking aim at your right to clean water. Today’s decision will cause real damage to New Mexico’s waterways and the clean water our communities rely on. Our state’s surface waters and watersheds are already scarce and threatened. We cannot afford to lose protections of those waters. That’s especially true as our climate crisis worsens and our waterways become more susceptible to prolonged drought and aridification."

“The Supreme Court’s radical majority is bent on making it harder for the EPA to protect our waterways," he continued. "But I’m hellbent on making sure these protections remain in full force under the law. Americans want climate action, not polluted waters.”

Although Heinrich criticized the conservative majority of the court, every member, regardless of their political ideology, agreed that the Environmental Protection Agency's interpretation of the Clean Water Act constituted at least some level of government overreach.

"The decision was nominally unanimous, with all the justices agreeing that the homeowners who brought the case should not have been subject to the agency’s oversight because the wetlands on their property were not subject to regulation in any event," The New York Times wrote of the ruling. 

The court voted unanimously to reverse the Ninth Circuit Court's decision but offered a 5-4 split majority opinion. Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court's three liberal justices in a concurring opinion, meaning the four justices agreed with the overall ruling but had different views on what should shape future decisions by lower courts.