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Will the Supreme Court stop the EPA?

From Hot Air:

Mike and Chantell Sackett thought that they had achieved the American dream of not just owning their own home, but building one themselves.  They bought a parcel of land zoned for residential construction in Idaho that was slightly larger than a half-acre and began construction on the house.  The EPA stopped them from proceeding by informing the Sacketts that their land was considered federally-protected wetlands, and that not only would they have to cease construction, they were required to return the land to the same condition as they had found it.  Each day that they failed to do so, the EPA could fine them $32,500.  The only way they could challenge this ruling is if the EPA sought judicial enforcement of the order, which the EPA is not inclined to do for obvious reasons and which would take years anyway.

Next month, Reason’s Damon Root reports, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sackett v EPA, and it has an opportunity to return private property rights to their proper standing (via our Townhall colleague Helen Whalen Cohen):

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” This means that if the government infringes on your rights, you are entitled to mount a timely and meaningful defense of those rights in court. It’s one of the cornerstones of our entire legal system, with roots dating back at least as far as the Magna Carta, which declared, “No free man…shall be stripped of his rights or possessions…except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”

Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prefers a less venerable form of justice, as the Supreme Court will hear next month during oral arguments in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue is the EPA’s enforcement of the Clean Water Act through so-called administrative compliance orders, which are government commands that allow the agency to control the use of private property without the annoyance of having to subject its actions to judicial review. …

Read the rest at Hot Air.


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