Sacramento, CA; September 26, 2011: The U.S. Supreme Court today received Pacific Legal Foundation’s opening brief on the merits in Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a high-profile property rights case on the Court’s docket for 2011-2012 term that opens next Monday, October 3.

This David v. Goliath case pits a working couple in Idaho against a federal bureaucracy that has blocked them from building a home on their own property in a residential neighborhood, and has threatened them with ruinous fines for allegedly filling in “wetlands” — while denying them a meaningful opportunity for administrative or judicial review of the bureaucracy’s claim of jurisdiction over them.

Property owners Mike and Chantell Sackett, of Priest Lake in the Idaho panhandle, are represented, free of charge, by attorneys with Pacific Legal Foundation, the leading watchdog organization that litigates for limited government, property rights, individual rights and a balanced approach to environmental regulations.

The Supreme Court granted the Sacketts’ petition for certiorari in late June. Briefs at the Supreme Court are deemed filed when mailed, and PLF attorneys filed the opening brief on the merits this past Friday, September 23.

“Our brief addresses two related issues,” said PLF Senior Staff Attorney Damien Schiff, who will argue the Sacketts’ case before the High Court. “First, did Congress intend to preclude landowners like the Sacketts from suing EPA in court immediately after receiving an EPA compliance order issued under the Clean Water Act? If so, does that preclusion violate the Due Process Clause of the Constitution?

“Now we wait for the government’s response, which is due just before Thanksgiving.”

About Pacific Legal Foundation
Donor-supported PLF ( is the leading watchdog organization that litigates for limited government, property rights, individual rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations, in courts nationwide.


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About Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit law firm that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 18 wins of 20 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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