April 19, 2011

Reinforcements in a battle for freedom

By Reinforcements in a battle for freedom

Author:  Damien M. Schiff

In late February, PLF requested the United States Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit's decision in Sackett v. United States.  The case concerns an Idaho couple who just wanted to build a family home, and were blindsided by the US Environmental Protection Agency with charges that they illegally filled wetlands without a permit in violation of the Clean Water Act.  The issue before the Supreme Court is whether the Sacketts, and other landowners in similar circumstances, have the right to judicial review of EPA's charges, which are set forth in a "compliance order," or whether they must wait until some undefined point in the future to have their day in court.  Late last year, the Sacketts' case was highlighted on Fox TV's Fox & Friends program.

I'm happy to report that our request for review in the nation's high court has attracted some significant support.  Amicus briefs urging the Court to take up the case have been filed by the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, the National Federation of Independent Business, the American Farm Bureau, the National Association of Home Builders, and the American Civil Rights Union.  And earlier today, PLF hosted a media call to discuss the broader issues of due process, respect for private rights, and basic fairness, raised by the case.

The EPA's response to our petition is due at the end of April.

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