June 28, 2011
EPA’s “sacking” of the Sacketts’ rights will get Supreme Court review
In a major development for property rights – and for property owners from coast to coast – the U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will hear the PLF case of Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The case asks a fundamental question: If the federal government asserts control over private property, claiming it is “wetlands,” does the owner have a right to meaningful judicial review?
When Mike and Chantell Sackett, of Priest Lake, Idaho, put that question to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, they were told: “No.” Even though EPA had seized control of their small parcel – forbidding them from building a house and threatening them with crippling fines if they didn’t return the land to the bureaucrats’ liking —the Ninth Circuit denied them their day in court!
The Ninth Circuit held that the Sacketts would first have to apply for a wetlands development permit – a long and probably fruitless process, the cost of which ($200,000 or more) would exceed the value of their property!
Ninth Circuit ruling exempts EPA from accountability
now, the High Court will take a second look
|"We’re standing up for everyone’s right to go to court when the government hands you a raw deal – or takes over your hard-earned property. Thank goodness PLF has been helping us, and now PLF will be making our case in the nation’s highest court."
“The Supreme Court’s decision to take the Sacketts’ case and review an anti-property rights ruling by the Ninth Circuit should be encouraging for all property owners, all across the country,” said Damien Schiff, the PLF senior staff attorney who wrote the successful petition for certiorari to the High Court.
“The Ninth Circuit’s ruling against the Sacketts amounted to putting a $200,000 price tag on their right to pursue justice,” said Schiff. “If they can’t get judicial review of the EPA’s land grab without going through a long, costly, and probably futile permitting process, then for all intents and purposes, they have been denied their day in court.
“Charging property owners a sky-high admissions fee to get into court isn’t just wrong, it’s flat-out unconstitutional
“Should EPA be a law unto itself, without meaningful accountability to the courts and the Constitution? This is the question we’ll be asking the Supreme Court – and we believe the answer is, clearly, No.”
The Sacketts say “Thank you!” to PLF – and PLF’s donors!
“We’re very encouraged that the Supreme Court has recognized how important our case is,” said Mike Sackett. “We are standing up against an agency that seems to have unlimited resources and few if any limits on what it can do to property owners. We’re standing up for everyone’s right to go to court when the government hands you a raw deal – or takes over your hard-earned property. Thank goodness PLF has been helping us, and now PLF will be making our case in the nation’s highest court
Your support is crucial to our cause
The defense of property rights is PLF’s signature cause, and our attorneys are looking forward to litigating another precedent-setting property-rights case at the U.S. Supreme Court. Please help us defend the Sacketts
– and the rights of everyone who owns, or wants to own, property – through a donation to our program to defend this most fundamental right.
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