June 28, 2011

Sacketts: last chance for justice

By Sacketts: last chance for justice

Author: Damien Schiff

Sackett This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued an order agreeing to take up PLF's case representing Mike and Chantell Sackett.  The question of whether the EPA can assert federal land use control over any wet area in this country, and deny a landowner a fair and effective means of challenging the agency's actions, is of capital importance to our nation and to the vindication of the basic principles of a free and just society.  PLF is confident that the Supreme Court will recognize EPA's actions for what they really are:  a clear violation of the constitutional right to due process of law.

Read PLF's full press release.

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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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