in Supreme Court against EPA:
The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled for an Idaho couple who have been in a four-year battle with the Environmental Protection Agency over the government’s claim that the land on which they plan to build a home contains sensitive wetlands.
The decision allows Mike and Chantell Sackett to go to court to challenge the agency’s order.
“There is no reason to think that the Clean Water Act was uniquely designed to enable the strong-arming of regulated parties into ‘voluntary compliance’ without the opportunity for review–even judicial review of the question whether the regulated party is within the EPA’s jurisdiction,” wrote Justice Antonin Scalia.
Lyle Dennison at ScotusBlog:
The Court stressed that it was not deciding whether Michael and Chantell Sackett will win their court case, but only that they had a right to file it at their choosing, now that the EPA “compliance order” is final. The decision reflected the strongly negative reaction most of the Justices had to the denial of a right to sue when this case was argued in January. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., who was among those protesting most strongly at that hearing, wrote a separate opinion Wednesday complaining that the scope of the Clean Water Act’s application to private property is unclear, and Congress or the EPA should move to clarify it. Alito also argued that the treatment of the Sacketts, and others denied a right to sue EPA, was “unthinkable” in a country that values due process.