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Little guys and gals win one

Little guys and gals win one

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.


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ANOTHER case of the Obami getting their (thingy) slammed in the door by the courts.

UNANIMOUSLY. Which HAS to sting…

I like Alito’s due process statement. Perhaps a harbinger?

So may I ask a question. Given that the SCOTUS was unanimous in its opinion, wouldn’t that lead one to ask whether this case had any legs in the first place. Sure, the appeals courts ruled the way they did, and the case moved upwards. But why didn’t the EPA get a sense somewhere along the way that they would probably lose?

I know the answer to my question. The EPA knew full well that they would get whacked. But think of all the lawyers who made oodles of bucks as the case worked it’s way through the system. Who cares if the SCOTUS ruled against us? We all got paid, didn’t we? And the taxpayer paid for all of this nonsense, anyway. No harm, no foul.

Just sayin’

    Ragspierre in reply to tiger66. | March 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Yeah, it’s those damn lawyers…


    The little dictators in the Obami TEST stuff. Why? Several reasons…

    One of them in the EPA case being that Lisa Jackson is freaking nuts, and a race-freaked radical…

    Valerie in reply to tiger66. | March 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    The EPA is not the only agency that pulls this kind of trick. Agencies from time to time get the idea that they set policy, and that they do not have to listen to their supervisory courts. My personal view is that people with a cause tend to develop tunnel vision, which leads to actions easily interpreted as hubris.

      Ragspierre in reply to Valerie. | March 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      Well, AND it works. Think of how far EPA has pushed, and how little they’ve been pushed BACK during this regime. A TOTALLY naturally occurring atmospheric gas…here LOOOOOONG before any of us…is a “pollutant” by law.

    Neo in reply to tiger66. | March 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    The EPA needed a kick in the “nuts.”

    I think it was unanimous because half of the justices thought the EPA was out of line and the other half thought that everything should be able to be litigated.

    RickCaird in reply to tiger66. | March 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    And it is not like the head of the EPA had any real skin in the game. See what happens if Lisa Jackson has to pay for a loss out her own pocket or at least out of the EPA budget.

      Ragspierre in reply to RickCaird. | March 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      You mean Lisa Jackson…the EPA head who insists on taking a limo to move her butt a few blocks in DC…???

      Say it isn’t SO…

Yeah! I have been following this case.

Of course, now they get the “right” to go to court. What they should have done is put the EPA and Corps of Engineering officials in stocks in Idaho and allowed the good citizens there to pelt them with potatoes for a while.

But we will take what we can get.

But here is a new outrage, courtesy of county building officials in Minnesota. Out of Control building officials…

“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” – I was not under the impression that ‘due process’ was assigned much value. After all, if ‘might makes right’, ‘due process’ would have an apparent negative value (as it slows ‘might’).

I don’t know the facts of this case. If it is like cases I know about, the EPA could be claiming it is a wetland because there are puddles in the springtime. I can’t speak to the merits of the case. But if this like cases I’ve read about, it is highly likely that there is no real wetland on their property.

If that is so, this is an outrage, because an agency of the federal government of the United States is acting in a tyrannical fashion our citizens. And the citizens have to GO TO THE Supreme Court to get PERMISSION to seek relief? People shouldn’t be treated this way by federal agencies.

I’m sure there are others much more knowledgeable who can speak to this. I’m not an expert. But doesn’t that outrage your sense of freedom?

The fact that people are not up in arms over what I suspect is overreaching despotism from the EPA, I think is because we feel helpless. We go through upheavals, we elect conservatives, we even had Reagan, George H. W. Bush campaigned as a conservative, we have a TEA Party, we had the election s of 2010, George W. Bush said he was a conservative, and YET the Left and the aggrandizement of power to Washington just continues!

What to do! What to do! How do we get a handle on this! I want us to be free from what Ronald Reagan called “the nine most terrifying words in the English language: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

This is another reason I support Newt. With Newt, we can make these agencies become the SERVANT of the PEOPLE.

I support Newt’s proposal that we replace the EPA with a brand-new Environmental Solutions Agency in which the first requirement to get hired is COMMON SENSE.

    Hope Change in reply to Hope Change. | March 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    You know? So the Supreme Court threw the little guys a bone!

    How many people have the money to fight this in court all the way to the Supreme Court. How many people are essentially having their land taken from them by bullying, unreasonable agencies.

    I l=heard the EPA want to promulgate a regulation in Iowa telling farmers that they can’t plow on days with enough wind to blow dust — “particulate matter” — into the next farmer’s field. Dust. Dust! The EPA is going to regulate dust on dirt roads in Iowa. What could go wrong?

    Ditto Arizona. The EPA suggested to Arizona that they could control dust if they would sprinkle it with water. Arizona explained that, because it was desert, there was rather a shortage of water.

    We’re like Gulliver being tied down by millions of Lilliputian regulations. It’s destroying our ability to function as a thriving nation, with a thriving economy.

    We shouldn’t be accepting these constant depredations. They want to control us. We need to roll this back.

I kind of think that it’s time for the EPA to become an advisory commission without any executive power. I guess we can blame Nixon for this agency’s birth but certainly it is not too late to limit its power with regard to the disruption of the economy and citizens lives.

Less government please!

I just found the site on Google Maps (based on the WaPo image- Kalispell Bay, Priest Lake). This is a forest next to a lake, with numerous other houses between the build site and the lake. It this qualifies as a wetland, half the US will qualify as a wetland.

    barbara in reply to bawatkins. | March 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    “It this qualifies as a wetland, half the US will qualify as a wetland.”

    Good lord, don’t give the EPA any ideas!

It is good sign IIRC the second unanimous ruling against the Administration. Someone asked how this got so far, here’s how it works:he EPA does what it does and then the matter is in the hands of DoJ, which rarely if ever acts as private counsel might and tells its “client” they should reconsider their decision to litigate.

“the treatment of the Sacketts, and others denied a right to sue EPA, was “unthinkable” in a country that values due process

Well, that leaves this country out if this Administration has anything to say about it. >:-(