Direct Representation Cases:




sackett property

Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency

Property owners challenge EPA’s navigable waters overreach

One of the longest-running legal battles in the history of the Clean Water Act doesn’t involve mega-polluters dumping toxic chemicals into America’s major rivers and lakes. Rather, it involves a couple who wanted to build a home on less than an acre of land in a residential neighborhood. And now, that case could have ramifications for p ...

Wilkins v. United States of America

Government bait-and-switch tramples on property rights and peace of mind

Wil Wilkins and Jane Stanton live next to Montana’s Bitterroot National Forest. A road that crosses both of their properties is the result of a limited-use easement granted to the U.S. Forest Service by the properties’ previous owners in 1962. The general public is not supposed to use the road, but in 2006 the Forest Service began adver ...

Equality Under the Law
Colleges and universities cannot discriminate based on race in their admissions processes
Equality Under the Law
December 14, 2021 2021-12-14
Supreme Court of the United States
Equality Under the Law
Ending discrimination against Asian-Americans at Harvard
Equality Under the Law
April 21, 2020 2020-04-21
United States First Court of Appeals
October 06, 2022 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Fighting EPA overreach at the Supreme Court in Sackett v. EPA

On the morning of October 3, 2022, I argued Sackett v. EPA II at the Supreme Court. It was the opening case of the Court's new term.   An element of theater  I've argued at the Supreme Court only one other time previously—a decade ago, in this same case (Sackett v. EPA I). But even attorneys ...

September 23, 2022 | By PAIGE GILLIARD

States, congressmen, farmers, and builders file amicus briefs in support of the Sacketts

On Monday, October 3, Pacific Legal Foundation senior attorney Damien Schiff will argue Sackett v. EPA at the Supreme Court. At issue is the scope of the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate wetlands under the Clean Water Act. More than 350 organizations, states, and members of Congress have filed amicus briefs in support of ...

September 19, 2022 | By BRITTANY HUNTER

It takes the heart and grit of a “mountain man” to protect his land against the government

Taking on the United States government in court is not for the faint of heart—it takes courage, grit, and a deep belief in the cause for which you are fighting. When the government violated the terms of an agreement it made with property owners in Montana, one man refused to take the abuse lying down. ...

August 03, 2022 | By PAIGE GILLIARD

Frequently asked questions about Sackett v. EPA

Mike and Chantell Sackett bought a parcel of land in 2004 near Priest Lake, Idaho, with dreams of building their family home on the site. Construction began in 2007—but stopped almost immediately when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stepped in and issued a compliance order, claiming their land is a federally protected wetland and accusi ...

July 15, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

Apocalypse not: What West Virginia v. EPA really means

On July 5, Axios not-so-subtly warned us that "the Supreme Court's next target is the executive branch." The Guardian's headline was even more stark: "The U.S. Supreme Court has declared war on the Earth's future."   With headlines like these, you might think we're experiencing the end times. Or, as Imagine Dragons put it in ...

June 07, 2022 | By JEFF MCCOY

Wilkins v. United States: Another PLF case goes to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court agrees to hear oral arguments in only about 70 cases each term. Those 70 cases are selected for review from a flood of roughly 7,000-8,000 cert petitions. Next term, two of those cases will be Pacific Legal Foundation cases: Sackett v. EPA, which the Supreme Court accepted for review in January, and ...

April 21, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

Emergency orders and the Supreme Court’s ‘shadow docket’

Schoolchildren are not known for their patience. But sometimes they have good reason to want something not next year, not next month, but now. Such as when their futures are on the line before the Supreme Court.   The slow Supreme Court process  In normal circumstances, it takes more than a year for the Supreme ...

August 27, 2021 | By LUKE WAKE

Supreme Court sides with landlords and PLF, secures an injunction against CDC's eviction moratorium

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Alabama Association of Realtors v. Department of Health and Human Services, affirming what Pacific Legal Foundation has argued on behalf of landowners for nearly a year—that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked the constitutional authority to enforce its nationwide eviction mo ...

June 23, 2021 | By PLF

The Supreme Court delivers a victory for property rights in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a victory for property owners with their decision in Cedar Point Nursery v Hassid. The Supreme Court affirmed that the government cannot force people to allow third parties to trespass on their property. In 2015, union activists stormed Cedar Point Nursery to harass the farm workers ...

October 14, 2022 | By KYLE GRIESINGER

Damien Schiff discusses Sackett v. EPA with Matt Lewis

It’s essentially just a normal family home buildable lot, which was fully permitted by the county. So, it is kind of funny to think about the district court and the Ninth Circuit affirmed EPA has au…

October 12, 2022 | By KYLE GRIESINGER

The Federalist: No, Dry Land Isn’t ‘Navigable Water’ For Federal Bureaucrats To Regulate, And SCOTUS Must Say So

The immediate stakes, of course, are whether the Sacketts may build their dream home. For more than 15 years, the Sacketts’ plans have been on hold, and, at long last, the end of their ordeal is in …

October 03, 2022 | By TONY FRANCOIS

The Hill: A decade in the life of defending an American family from the EPA

You might ask: What is the EPA doing telling ordinary Americans whether they can build a house? The agency claims that the Sacketts’ lot is a federally regulated “navigable water” under the Clea…

September 26, 2022 | By JAMES BURLING

The Hill: Expect fireworks from the Supreme Court’s 2022-2023 term

Although the Supreme Court likely won’t be talking much about guns and abortions this term, there will be fireworks on issues ranging from race preferences at colleges, to California’s politically…

August 2, 2022 | By FRANK GARRISON

Daily Journal: The Supreme Court must continue to restore first principles in environmental law

The modern administrative state has become a behemoth not only subverting the horizontal separation of powers by making law through broad congressional delegations, but also subverting the vertical se…

July 31, 2022 | By KYLE GRIESINGER

Media coverage of Sackett v. EPA

On October 3, 2022, Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency will be the first case argued in the new term at the Supreme Court. The case allows the Court to continue where West Virginia v. EPA left…

July 18, 2022 | By FRANK GARRISON

The Hill: Federal agencies lay the groundwork to ignore the Supreme Court

In Weyerhaeuser v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Supreme Court held that land designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) mu…

July 15, 2022 | By ANASTASIA BODEN

SCOTUSblog: With Justice Breyer’s retirement, the court loses a pragmatist (and some laughs)

Perhaps one of the worst accusations that can be thrown at a judge is that they’re inconsistent, since it implies that the judge is ruling according to his or her whim rather than the rule of law. F…

February 14, 2022 | By ALISON SOMIN

The Hill: No, plaintiff wins in the Harvard and UNC cases wouldn’t be undemocratic

Would a win for the plaintiffs challenging race-preferential admissions at Harvard and the University of North Carolina be an anti-democratic result — an example of how, as progressive legal comment…

January 3, 2022 | By CALEB KRUCKENBERG

The Hill: The FTC’s rebellion against the judiciary

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) must be held accountable for its open defiance of the Supreme Court’s directives. For decades, the FTC relied on a statute authorizing “permanent injunctions” …

December 16, 2021 | By ALISON SOMIN

Daily Journal: Harvard admissions case gives high court chance to revitalize equal treatment

Should racial preferences in university admissions be legal? The U.S. Supreme Court has an opportunity to revisit that hotly debated question if it decides to take up Students for Fair Admissions v. H…

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