Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor: Friend of Fish "And Other Aquatic Organisms"

Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter, ruled in a 2007 case that power companies must protect “fish and other aquatic organisms” from being sucked into cooling vents regardless of the costs, saying the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was not allowed to use a cost-benefit analysis in measuring power companies’ compliance with the federal Clean Water Act.

The Supreme Court disagreed, ruling on April 1 of this year that a cost-benefit analysis was entirely appropriate when judging whether a power company was following the law...

"This case is about fish and other aquatic organisms," wrote Sotomayor. "The flow of water into these plants traps (or 'impinges') large aquatic organisms against grills or screens, which cover the intake structures, and draws (or 'entrains') small aquatic organisms into the cooling mechanism; the resulting impingement and entrainment from these operations kill or injure billions of aquatic organisms every year...."

Steve Milloy, a lawyer, author, and founder of, told that Sotomayor’s decision was pure politics, saying it reflected Judge Sotomayor’s “blind political allegiance” to radical environmentalists.

“This was ultimately a political job, where a narrow interpretation of the law is going to help or be consistent with her politics--that’s what she’s going to do,” said Milloy. “Where a more expansive view is going to help with her politics, she’s going to adopt that. She’s going to find a way to side with whatever her political views are, regardless of the law.”

(Matt Cover's CNS News report, May 27)