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This story originally appeared on Mother Jones and is element of the Climate Desk collaboration.

On Wednesday early morning, President Barack Obama announced he will nominate Merrick Garland to substitute Justice Antonin Scalia, who died final thirty day period, on the Supreme Court docket.

Garland, who is now chief decide of the US Court docket of Appeals for the DC Circuit, has an excruciating route to confirmation. He faces entrenched opposition from Senate Republicans, who have vowed to block everyone Obama appoints to the seat. As my colleague Stephanie Mencimer place it, “Garland is a political sacrificial lamb for the White Household.”

But if Garland is somehow verified, one particular of his initial huge circumstances he could figure out the fate of Obama’s signature weather change policy.

In terms of looking for someone who would give a honest listening to (to the Clean Electrical power Approach), he’s a huge change from Scalia.Richard Lazarus, environmental legislation scholar

Soon prior to Scalia’s dying, SCOTUS placed a hold on the Clean Electrical power Plan—a regulation from the Environmental Protection Company that aims to slash greenhouse gasoline emissions from electricity plants—while lower courts rule on its legality. The system is remaining challenged by two dozen coal-reliant states and will probably wind up prior to the Supreme Court docket sometime subsequent 12 months.

Garland’s file must give some optimism for environmentalists who are hopeful the Court docket will uphold the Clean Electrical power Approach. In accordance to SCOTUSblog, Garland has a background of having the eco-friendly facet of regulatory disputes: “Judge Garland has in a quantity of circumstances favored contested EPA polices and actions when challenged by industry, and in other circumstances he has acknowledged worries introduced by environmental groups.” In other words, Garland has typically stood by the EPA when its rules have been challenged by industry groups, and stood by environmentalists when they assumed EPA actions hadn’t been strong ample.

Richard Lazarus, an environmental legislation scholar at Harvard College, explained that Garland is really respected in the environmental legislation group.

“No one particular would say Garland is a hardened environmentalist,” he explained. Nonetheless, “we consider we’ll get a straight shot from him. He does not appear with any inherent skepticism about the federal federal government overreaching [on environmental regulation]. In terms of looking for someone who would give a honest listening to [to the Clean Electrical power Approach], he’s a huge change from Scalia.”

We’ll be digging into Garland’s environmental file a lot more as his confirmation moves forward (or does not) remain tuned.

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