The New York Times: Court Reverses New Mexico Governor on Environmental Rules

January 2011

By Felicity Barringer

The New Mexico Supreme Court’s rebuke to Susana Martinez, the state’s new governor was blunt. “No one is above the law,” the state’s chief justice, Charles W. Daniels said Wednesday morning as he announced the high court’s decision to reinstate two environmental regulations that the governor had unilaterally blocked upon taking office earlier this month.

In a unanimous decision, the court ordered that the rules — one requiring annual 3 percent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and another aimed at controlling waste discharges from the state’s dairies — must be published in the state’s register, which will make them effective. Governor Martinez had forbidden the register from publishing the rules.

Justice Daniels said that universal compliance with the law was essential, or “there will be a wasteland with no law.” The judge’s words were confirmed by two lawyers who attended the hearing.

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