April 26, 2012

Talking Sackett

By Damien M. Schiff Senior Attorney

Today I’ll be speaking to a number of groups on the Sackett case.  This morning I’ll be speaking through Skype at SUNY Buffalo Law School for the seminar “Beyond Jurisdiction:  The Future of Wetland Law and Policy.”  Later on today, I’ll be speaking at a CLE in Seattle on Sackett and its significance for practitioners and the regulated public.  Finally, I’ll be speaking this evening in Seattle to the region’s Federalist Society on the same subject.

If your group would like to have me or another PLF attorney to speak, I encourage you to contact our Speakers Bureau.

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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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