Linda Greenhouse reports in today's New York Times that the Supreme Court, yesterday, came very close to severely restricting the federal government's ability to protect the country's wetlands. What does this have to do with the New York State Legislature, you may ask? A lot, it turns out. As Lawrence Norden, Associate Counsel at the Brennan Center wrote in an op-ed for Newsday last year, the State Senate's leadership has repeatedly bottled up a bill that would increase local protection of wetlands, despite the fact that 49 of 62 Senators have publicly expressed support for it. In light of yesterday's Supreme Court decision, the Senate leadership's efforts to bottle up that bill look increasingly significant. Many fear the federal government's ability to protect wetlands will soon be further reduced. 49 rank-and-file Senators may want to make sure that New York State protects its own wetlands, with or without that federal protection. But in New York, their views and votes don't count if the Senate Leadership has other priorities. Categories: Legislative Rules