Today’s order list. The Supreme Court called for the views of the Solicitor General (CVSG) in two cases, very unusually setting a deadline of January 4, 2019. I have never seen a CVSG with a deadline of any kind. I believe this indicates that if the Supreme Court takes these cases, they want to hear and decide them in the October 2018 term (i.e. on or before June 30, 2019).
The cases in question are:
Issues : (1) Whether the Clean Water Act requires a permit when pollutants originate from a point source but are conveyed to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater; and (2) whether the County of Maui had fair notice that a Clean Water Act permit was required for its underground injection control wells that operated without such a permit for nearly 40 years.
Issues : (1) Whether the Clean Water Act’s permitting requirement is confined to discharges from a point source to navigable waters, or whether it also applies to discharges into soil or groundwater whenever there is a “direct hydrological connection” between the groundwater and nearby navigable waters; and (2) whether an “ongoing violation” of the Clean Water Act exists for purposes of the act’s citizen-suit provision when a point source has permanently ceased discharging pollutants, but some of the pollutants are still reaching navigable water through groundwater.
The cases are similar and if accepted would certainly be consolidated for consideration.
The Supreme Court did not accept any new cases for consideration today and no cases will be decided this week.
Interestingly, however, the Supreme Court will close on Wednesday for the National Day of Mourning for G.H.W. Bush and the arguments scheduled for Wednesday will be held on Thursday.