Supreme Court Rules Against EPA in Unanimous Decision


In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled against the EPA’s contention that a couple does not have the right to go to court when disputing the agency. (See my previous post on the Sacketts who have been trying to build their Idaho home, but the EPA won’t let them.)

The Washington Post has the latest.

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.


The question for the justices was whether the couple had the right at that point to appear before a judge and contest the agency’s contention that their land contained wetlands subject to the Clean Water Act.

Scalia joked in summarizing the decision from the bench that the Sacketts were surprised by the EPA decision that their land contained navigable waters of the United States “having never seen a ship or other vessel cross their yard.”


Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. joined in the criticism in a concurring opinion, saying the position taken by the federal government in the case “would have put the property rights of ordinary Americans entirely at the mercy of Environmental Protection Agency employees.” (Read More)

The people at the EPA think they’re above the law. This ruling says they are not.

Update: Linked by Katy Pundit – thanks!