May 23, 2012

Anchorage paper on the Sacketts’ – and PLF’s – big day in Alaska

By Anchorage paper on the Sacketts’ – and PLF’s – big day in Alaska

Mountains in AlaskaYesterday in Anchorage, The Resource Development Council hosted a special luncheon focusing on Pacific Legal Foundation’s landmark victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The program was titled: “Sacked by the EPA: The story of Mike and Chantell Sackett. Their recent victory before the U.S. Supreme Court and why it matters to Alaska.”

Turnout was awesome – filling one of the city’s biggest venues, at the Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center.  Along with Mike and Chantell Sackett – and PLF Principal Attorney Jim Burling – the audience heard from Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell.

Parnell was a strong ally of PLF’s case for the Sacketts at the Supreme Court.  Alaska filed a powerful amicus brief that was joined by nine other states.

As today’s Anchorage Daily News reports, Parnell told the audience that the state’s full-on support for PLF’s Sackett litigation is part of Alaska’s larger determination to stand up against EPA regulatory overreach and abuse:

“In Alaska, we are pushing back,” Parnell told the crowd.  “We are for federalism. We are for freedom. We are for private property rights and we will continue to fight for those rights.”

“Some in the EPA have indicated the court ruling won’t dramatically shift enforcement,” Parnell said.

“Game on,” he said.

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Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency

Chantell and Michael Sackett received a local permit to build a modest three-bedroom home on a half-acre lot in an existing, partially built-out residential subdivision in Priest Lake, Idaho. The home poses no threat to water quality but federal EPA regulators nonetheless declared their property to contain a wetland and demanded they stop all work and restore the lot to its natural condition or pay fines of up to $75,000 per day. When they sued to challenge this order, EPA asserted they had no right to judicial review. The district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, and tossed their lawsuit out of court. The United States Supreme Court unanimously reversed, ruling that failure to allow the lawsuit violated the Sacketts’ constitutional due process rights. They are now litigating their claims in federal district court in Idaho.

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