On Thursday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency is restricted in how it can enforce the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, limiting its ability to fight climate change at the federal level.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said that decision and other recent Supreme Court rulings, including the reversal of Roe v. Wade and a ruling that loosens restrictions on concealed carry of guns, are bringing America back to the days of the Articles of Confederation.

"It's been one gut punch after another: coming after states with commonsense gun laws, coming after women and all who are affected by reproductive justice and health, coming after our ability to have clean air and pass on the world that our kids deserve," she said during an appearance Thursday on Boston Public Radio.

The environmental decision, by a vote of 6 to 3, means that the EPA does not have authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions at power plants and that the agency must receive express permission from Congress to implement such regulations. The decision may also have a broader effect on agencies' regulatory efforts.

"We're essentially back in the days of, almost the Articles of Confederation," Wu said, "where it's every state for themselves [deciding] whether women will have basic rights and bodily autonomy, whether we can have clean air in this immediate vicinity, even though all the other states' air also spills over to us."

She called the feeling of having decisions repeatedly kicked back to the state and local level "quite disempowering."

"It's anti-American compared to where we've come from of banding together and ensuring we're thinking about our collective rights and what the baseline is across this country," she said."

Wu did hold hope that some action could be taken at the state and local level on climate and reproductive rights.

"So many of the impacts and changes we need to enact, if every city just moved on their own, or even a collection of the largest cities did it together, that would get us most of the way there," she said.

On local decisions, Wu hailed the Boston School Committee's selection of Mary Skipper as the next superintendent of Boston Public Schools.

"I'm absolutely thrilled with where the school committee landed," said Wu. "We really don't have any time to lose and so we need someone who can hit the ground running, knowing our district, knowing our city, and knowing the job of being superintendent very well — so Mary Skipper is uniquely qualified for this moment."

Skipper has worked as a principal and administrator within BPS, and has spent the past seven years leading Somerville Public Schools as superintendent.

Wu did speak to the complicated process of selecting a new superintendent, which by law requires finalists to go through a public interview. Ultimately, two candidates of color dropped out of the process before the final interview, causing some to criticize the search committee's process.

"There were four finalists chosen, representative of our communities and the diversity of our district, and in the last 24-28 hours, two women of color withdrew for personal reasons," she said. "We did have many, many conversations about would they honor their commitment to be a finalist, would they stay in the process, and ultimately this is a very difficult job, it's probably one of the hardest jobs in the entire city, especially in this moment. ... I would never want to push someone into this job whose heart wasn't fully in it."

In response to a question from Boston Public Radio host Jim Braude about the racial politics of having a white woman lead a school district where the majority of students and families are Black or Latino, Wu said racial equity was a "baseline qualification for any of our applicants in this role."

The city is also engaged in a search to find a new Boston Police Commissioner, which goes through a distinctly more confidential process. But Wu said both search committees held listening sessions, town halls, and closed-door stakeholder sessions to come up with a job description that shaped what candidates ultimately applied for both the superindendent and police commissioner roles.

Wu said she had hoped the decision would be made by the end of spring or early summer.

"I really don't like being late on my deadlines, but we're almost there."