Supreme Court Gets Back to Work With a Pivotal Environmental Case

The court’s 6-3 conservative majority has become increasingly assertive, as evidenced by its rulings last term overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had legalized abortion nationwide and expanding gun rights.

President Joe Biden’s appointee Ketanji Brown Jackson — the first Black woman justice — joins its liberal bloc after being confirmed by the Senate in April to replace now-retired Justice Stephen Breyer. Jackson becomes the sixth woman justice ever. For the first time, four women will serve on the court together — Jackson, Amy Coney Barrett, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

It is on the first Monday in October annually that the court gets back to work hearing cases. The justices on Monday are scheduled to hear arguments in a case that could limit the scope of a landmark federal environmental law — the Clean Water Act of 1972 — as they consider for a second time a married Idaho couple’s bid to build on property that the U.S. government has deemed a protected wetland.

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