- Congress sends sweeping defense bill to Obama
- Multiple injuries as balcony collapses at London’s Apollo theatre during performance
- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
Va. Attorney General Cuccinelli had Democratic allies in a win against EPA
Question of the Day
A recent ruling against the Environmental Protection Agency has given Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II his first clear-cut victory in the conservative’s much-publicized skirmishes with the federal government.
A federal judge recently ruled the EPA overstepped its bounds in trying to regulate stormwater in a Northern Virginia watershed — a ruling Mr. Cuccinelli says could save the state and Fairfax County upward of $300 million.
“It was not a partisan undertaking,” said Mr. Cuccinelli, a Republican who is running for governor this year. “This really would have allowed them to take a club to our economy.”
U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady wrote in a nine-page opinion issued last week that water cannot be considered a “pollutant” under the Clean Water Act and was not subject to the federal regulation.
Perhaps as intriguing as the ruling is the fact that the Democrat-controlled Fairfax County Board of Supervisors was a co-plaintiff in the case along with Mr. Cuccinelli’s client, the Virginia Department of Transportation.
“State and County environmental regulations and policies are very much intertwined,” she said in a statement. “The partnership between the Commonwealth and Fairfax County was important to our success in this challenge.”
Unlike his other cases against the federal health care overhaul or the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, Mr. Cuccinelli had a local partner in this instance. He acknowledged that the outcomes have been mixed but didn’t indicate he was about to pull any punches against Washington.
“We certainly fought back, and we’re sort of 1-1-1,” he said. “We’ve had mixed results. [It’s] well worth undertaking the fights. We’ve knocked back their attempts to impose themselves into our own local government.”
The loss Mr. Cuccinelli alluded to came when a D.C. appellate panel ruled in June that the EPA does have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases, dismissing a lawsuit brought by scores of plaintiffs that included the state of Virginia. The court recently denied a request to rehear the case en banc, or before the full court.
Though Mr. Cuccinelli’s health care lawsuit ultimately was not heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, he filed the suit literally seconds after President Obama signed the bill into law in March 2010 and the attorney general fast became a national face of the opposition to the law. He judged the final Supreme Court ruling a tie: the law was upheld as constitutional, but states will not be required to comply with its Medicaid expansion provision. Since the court judged the law constitutional under Congress’ taxing power, Mr. Cuccinelli said it was a major win for federalism as well.
“Never again will someone in Congress be able to say, ‘Well, this isn’t a tax,’” he said. “That will never, ever be forgotten in the history of the United States.”
For his part, Mr. Cuccinelli has an extensive resume of accomplishments on issues within the commonwealth, such as combating Medicaid fraud, protecting the state’s elderly population from scams and working to exonerate the wrongly accused.
But he’s better known for more controversial endeavors such as the health care fight, his pursuit of records related to a climatologist who worked at the University of Virginia and his advice that led the state Board of Health to reverse a previous vote and require existing abortion clinics in the state to comply with hospitallike regulations.
It behooves him to put points on the board that resonate with a segment of the population beyond his conservative base, said Mark Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Actress Glenn Close, advocacy groups prod Congress on mental health legislation
- Virginia conservative offers solution to bureaucratic nightmare regarding concealed weapons
- House retirements creating pickup opportunities for Democrats and Republicans
- Senate confirms Obama pick Jeh Johnson as Homeland Security secretary
- 75 is the new old: VA DMV study recommends fitness tests for aging drivers
Latest Blog Entries
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Huge backlash mounts over suspension of 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson
- PRUDEN: 'Tis the season for apologies
- EDITORIAL: Red faces at the White House
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- UHLER and FERRARA: Obamacare, the end of the progressive era
- Sebelius adds yet another exemption for Obamacare
- Breaking Bad: Alligators becoming the new pit bulls for drug dealers, cops say
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow