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

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 ...

Tyler v. Hennepin County

94-year-old grandmother fights home equity theft in Minnesota

Home equity is private property, however, and is just as protected as a home or land. Government can’t avoid its obligation to pay just compensation for a property’s equity by simply saying the home equity doesn’t exist. Now, at 94 years old and in a senior-living facility, Geraldine is fighting back in the U.S. Supreme Court. &# ...

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
December 02, 2022 | By PLF

Arguing Wilkins v. USA at the Supreme Court  

On Wednesday, November 30, PLF attorney Jeffrey McCoy argued Wilkins v. USA at the Supreme Court. Montana neighbors Wil Wilkins and Jane Stanton have been trying to protect their remote forest homes after the U.S. Forest Service opened their small private road to the public, in violation of a decades-old easement agreement. When Wil and ...

November 01, 2022 | By KYLE GRIESINGER

Frequently asked questions about Wilkins v. United States

What are the facts of this case? At issue in Wilkins v. United States is a forest road, a disagreement over easement terms, and a question about the statute of limitations on quiet title claims. Wil Wilkins and Jane Stanton are two neighbors living near a Montana national forest who just want peace and privacy. Wil and ...

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 ...

January 14, 2023

The Government Seized an Elderly Minnesota Woman’s Home Over $2,300 in Unpaid Property Taxes, Sold It, and Pocketed the Proceeds. The Supreme Court Just Agreed to Hear Her Case.

An elderly widow whose condo was seized and sold by the county government for unpaid property taxes, with the government pocketing the proceeds from the equity in her property, may finally get relief …

January 13, 2023

Supreme Court takes up property 'theft’ dispute over unpaid taxes

The justices will hear a challenge to the way government and private companies reap profits when properties are seized for a failure to pay taxes.

January 3, 2023 | By ELIZABETH SLATTERY

The Hill: Expect more headlines from the Supreme Court in the new year

After an action-packed start to the term, the Supreme Court returns to the bench next week for the first winter oral argument sitting. And while the term was frontloaded with headline-grabbing cases, …

November 29, 2022 | By ELIZABETH SLATTERY

This question could seal fate of SCOTUS Forest Service fracas

On Wednesday, Wilkins’ attorneys will appear before the nation’s highest bench to argue that the Montana landowner and one of his neighbors, Jane Stanton, should have legal recourse against the Fo…

November 28, 2022 | By JEFF MCCOY

The Hill: A Montana ‘mountain man’ goes to court to protect his property rights

Wil Wilkins of Ravalli County, Mont., acknowledges he’s a bit of a throwback. Growing up in West Virginia, he says his mother used to tell him, “You was born a hundred years too late, boy.” It…

November 14, 2022 | By NICOLE W.C. YEATMAN

The Hill: The Supreme Court failed Asian Americans a century ago. What will it do now?

One hundred years ago, on Nov. 13, 1922, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an Asian man could not become an American citizen because of his race. Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court considered whether uni…

October 28, 2022 | By ERIN WILCOX

Fox News: If Supreme Court ends affirmative action, here’s what could happen next

This week, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a pair of cases asking whether affirmative action in college admissions violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. If the cour…

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 WILL YEATMAN

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 28, 2022 | By TONY FRANCOIS

A Supreme Court Watershed

By The Editorial Board Sept. 30, 2022 6:57 pm ET 1562 WSJ Opinion: The Mirror-Image Midterm Elections You may also like Your browser does not support HTML5 video. WSJ Opinion: The Mirror-Image Midterm…

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…

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