June 17, 2011

World Net Daily talks about the Sackett case

By World Net Daily talks about the Sackett case

Author:  Damien M. Schiff

World Net Daily has an excellent piece today on the plight of Mike and Chantell Sackett, PLF clients who are fighting for the right to have their day in court against the EPA.  The agency issued the Sacketts a compliance order under the Clean Water Act, contending that they had illegally filled wetlands on their property.  Of course, the Sacketts believe that they have done nothing wrong, but the EPA (and for now the courts) have held that they have no right of judicial review for the compliance order.  The Sacketts have therefore asked the Supreme Court to take up their case and to hold that such a regime violates the basic principles of due process, i.e., notice and an opportunity to be heard.  The Sacketts' petition for certiorari is fully briefed, and a decision from the high court on whether to take up the case is due in about a week.

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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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