March 31, 2016

PLF Begins Argument in the Supreme Court in Hawkes Case

By PLF Begins Argument in the Supreme Court in Hawkes Case

Live from PLF’s D.C. Center, PLF D.C. Executive Director Todd Gaziano moderates a round table discussion on Pacific Legal Foundation’s opening argument in the Supreme Court for Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes. Joining Todd are PLF Attorneys for the case, Mark Miller and Reed Hopper, PLF President and CEO Rob Rivett, Local Counsel Nancy Burke, and client Kevin Pierce.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes

Hawkes Company is a family-owned business in Minnesota that harvests peat moss, for landscaping. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improperly claimed jurisdiction over the property as regulated wetlands. This put Hawkes in the untenable position of (1) abandoning all use of the land at great loss; (2) spending several hundred thousand dollars to seek an unnecessary federal permit; or (3) using the land without federal approval at the risk of $37,500-a-day fines and criminal prosecution. When Hawkes challenged the Corps in court, lower courts dismissed the case as unripe for review. But the Supreme Court disagreed, holding that a Jurisdictional Determination is a binding legal decision subject to immediate judicial challenge.

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