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Tag: Rapanos v. United States

August 16, 2018

The EPA should get on with Clean Water Act reform

For many years, PLF has served as advocate for ordinary Americans facing byzantine regulation of their land by the EPA’s water bureaucrats. In 2006 our client John Rapanos won his case at the Supreme Court, establishing that EPA’s regulations defining “navigable waters” were illegal. But rather than follow Justice ScaliaR ...

July 27, 2018

Joe Robertson retains PLF to take his case to the Supreme Court

Pacific Legal Foundation is proud to have been asked by Joe Robertson, an elderly Navy veteran from Montana, to represent him in the Supreme Court of the United States, in his bid to overturn his conviction for violation of the Clean Water Act and damage to federal property. PLF will be asking the Supreme Court ...

March 30, 2018


PLF filed a friend of the court brief in the Supreme Court of the United States a few months ago, in Hughes v. United States, and the Court heard oral argument in the case this week. The case asks the Supreme Court to provide better guidance to the lower courts on what to do when the ...

November 28, 2017

Ninth Circuit affirms prison for man who built ponds without permit

The Ninth Circuit issued a disappointing decision affirming the federal conviction of a Montana man for building some ponds without a Clean Water Act permit. ...

August 29, 2017

Ninth Circuit poses tough questions to government in Robertson argument

Today’s Ninth Circuit oral argument in U.S. v. Robertson produced an interesting series of exchanges between the Justice Department appellate attorney and Ninth Circuit Judges Gould and McKeown. A key issue in the case, as I laid out in this morning’s post, is whether the Clean Water Act’s counter-intuitive definition of “na ...

August 29, 2017

Ninth Circuit hears appeal from elderly man jailed for building ponds

Today the Ninth Circuit is hearing oral argument in U.S. v. Robertson. Joseph Robertson is presently incarcerated in federal prison in Colorado, serving an 18 month sentence for building two ponds on land owned by the Forest Service in Montana. He is 78 years old. One of the counts for which Mr. Robertson was imprisoned ...

April 04, 2016

What if the Clean Water Act is unconstitutionally vague?

As regular readers know, PLF argued a case in the Supreme Court of the United States last week, U.S. Army Corps v. Hawkes Co., concerning whether property owners can have their day in court when the federal government declares their land subject to federal control. During the oral argument, Justice Kennedy — long-considered the “swing ...

August 31, 2015

Should Congress step back and let the courts handle the WOTUS rule?

Liberty Blog readers know that the "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) rule issued earlier this summer is not only a brazen power grab by the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers that will create additional costs, risks, and confusion for ordinary property owners, but that it is also blatantly illegal. Last week, as ...

December 11, 2012

I spy with my little eye a “water of the United States”

Or so says the United States Army Corps of Engineers about the pictured property.  Can you see the water on this property?  We can't, which is why we are taking the Corps to court in our newest lawsuit, Smith v. U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Here's the story: PLF clients Peter and Frankie Smith bought ...

July 26, 2012

Talking Sackett with the cattlemen

Tomorrow, I’ll be speaking at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association annual summer conference in Denver.  I’ll be presenting on Sackett v. EPA, and discussing other prominent and current environmental issues, including the pending draft agency guidance on interpreting Rapanos, the chicken coop controversy in West Virginia, and ...