You need to read the full story on WMD!
Damien Schiff, principal attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, represented the Sackett family without charge, had argued this case at the Supreme Court on Jan. 9th. Just two hours ago, the Supreme Court ruled in favor for an Idaho landowner.
The Environmental Protection Agency cannot make a decision that a parcel of land is protected wetlands and prohibit the owner from using it, and then refuse to hear any challenges to such decisions.
The Mike and Chantell Sackett family of Priest Lake, Idaho bought a piece of land in a residential subdivision that was about two-thirds of an acre.
They purchased the appropriate building permits and started work on their home. And then the EPA arrived with an order for them to restore the land to its pristine condition, protect it for years and then go through a ruinously expensive application process to request permission to use their own land.
This story is no joke! The EPA actually did do this and believed they could get away with their abuse of power. But they were not alone. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, told the couple they could not even challenge the decision unless they went through the expensive process outlined by the EPA.
The EPA had threatened the couple with fines of up to $75,000 per day for failing to follow the agency’s intrusive “compliance” plan through which federal officials not only effectively seized control of the land, but also the couple, by demanding their paperwork records and other detailed information.
The high court today said the EPA must provide a process through which a challenge to its decision can be addressed in a meaningful way. The law firm working on behalf of the Sacketts called the decision a “precedent-setting victory for the rights of all property owners.”
This story brings music to my ears as I think about the many times I was frustrated by the audacity of government entities seizing private property. It seems the Sackett family’s case is a David and Goliath story!
What do you think about this story? Do you think the EPA should be able seize land like this or should families have a right to challenge the EPA’s actions?