October 12, 2011

PLF's Damien Schiff, clients Mike and Chantell Sackett, Peter Nimrod provide testimony to Senator Rand Paul

By PLF's Damien Schiff, clients Mike and Chantell Sackett, Peter Nimrod provide testimony to Senator Rand Paul

Author:  Anne Hayes

This afternoon, United States Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky held a roundtable discussion in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building called "PROPERTY WRONGS: A discussion with the victims of the U.S. government's assault on private property".  He graciously invited PLF clients Mike and Chantell Sackett, PLF client Peter Nimrod of the Mississippi Levee Board, and their attorney, PLF's Damien PLF's Damien Schiff, to provide testimony at the hearing, along with other victims of federal agency enforcement actions. 

Senator Paul will be posting video of the hearing soon, but the Coeur d'Alene press has already run a story on it.  We hope these legislators will fully realize the threat that runaway federal agency power is posing to our fundamental rights and liberties.

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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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