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by Ron Ewart, ©2012

(Mar. 22, 2012) — Many are touting the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision on Michael and Shantell Sacketts battle with the Environmental Protection Agency as a big victory ….. but is it? When you read Justice Alito’s concurring decision of the Sacketts vs EPA case, it is evident that the EPA still maintains virtually dictatorial power over any and all wetlands in America by virtue of the way the EPA interprets the Clean Water Act as to what is meant in the Act by “navigable” waters and what is meant by in-or-near “navigable” waters.

From this ruling, all it does is allow the Sacketts to challenge EPA’s wetland compliance order in court. The compliance order still stands and the Sacketts now will have to file a legal complaint in a trial court under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), challenging EPA’s ruling. They still have a long way to go before they are out of the woods against EPA. More expert witnesses, more attorneys, more money and more time. The EPA will still be on their backs and the Sacketts will still have to defend themselves …… in court.

There should have never been a compliance order filed by the EPA in the first place on this private lot. It goes to the question of why there is federal control over every little or large, public or private wetland or mud puddle in America.

The Sacketts needed total RELIEF from the EPA, but they didn’t get it. They may never get a chance to build their home.

Nevertheless, the National Association of Rural Landowners applauds the extraordinary efforts by the Pacific Legal Foundation, on behalf of Michael and Chantell Sackett in the U. S. Supreme Court, that resulted in a 9 – 0 decision in favor of the rule of law and the putting down of an out-of-control federal bureaucracy known as the Environmental Protection Agency. This decision however, points at how inept the U. S. Congress is in writing environmental legislation, or any legislation for that matter, where the clear intent of the law is so badly obscured that federal bureaucracies or attorneys can parse the language in the law that gives the agency the greatest authority over the people, whether that authority is real or imagined.

For those of you interested in the actual decision by the U. S. Supreme Court, you may read it HERE.

The Pacific Legal Foundation represented the Sacketts in the U. S. Supreme Court. You can access their announcement regarding the case HERE.

Ron Ewart, President
P. O. Box 1031, Issaquah, WA  98027
425 837-5365 or 1 800 682-7848

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