The EPA needs a vasectomy.
The Supreme Court made a landmark decision in March that will rival its long awaited ruling on ObamaCare.
Mike and Chantell Sackett purchased some property situated near Priest Lake, Idaho on which they intended to build their dream home. In 2007, the Sacketts started preparing the land for construction when they got a surprise visit from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA told them that their property contained wetlands subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the rocks and dirt being moved would cause unlawful discharge of pollutants into navigable waters without a permit. EPA then issued a compliance order directing the Sacketts to cease construction activities, restore the land and provide the agency with access to the site. The federal agency noted that failure to comply with the compliance order could subject the Sacketts to penalties up to $75,000 per day of violation.
The Sacketts contested the EPA's finding of wetlands on their property and as they were not close to a navigable waterway challenged the compliance order in court, arguing that they were being deprived of property without due process of law in violation of the Fifth Amendment. The lower court dismissed their claim saying the CWA precluded judicial review of EPA compliance orders and the Sacketts could either comply with the order or risk fines for every day they refused. They chose to appeal the lower court's findings to the US Supreme Court which last month ruled in favor of the Sacketts. The Court also criticized the EPA for trying to strong-arm the Sacketts into voluntary compliance with threats of large fines without legal recourse. The Court also referred the case back to the lower court to establish the EPA's claims of navigable waters close to the Sacketts property.
This is one of those increasingly rare occasions when the Supreme Court actually rules against the will of government. In this case, the abuse of power was so outrageous that even they could not ignore it.
In essence, what the EPA said to the Sacketts was they didn't like them building a house on their property (why?) and a violation was fabricated to deprive them of the use of the property. Instead of the lower court smelling a rat and protecting property rights by seeking justification for EPA actions, they denied the Sacketts protection under the law. They said, you must do as the EPA says and you have no legal recourse.
The question now is, is it likely other property owners facing similar compliance orders, feeling unable to fight the might of the EPA, voluntarily surrendered their Fifth Amendment property rights from fear of heavy fines? And what should be done to permanently rectify arbitrary and unconstitutional actions by the EPA and return property rights to all those affected by past actions?
If the Sacketts had not courageously fought for five years, at who knows how much financial burden, to right EPA abuse, none of us would have any property rights.
This is serious folks. The EPA is out of control and no one is being held responsible. As it stands, the EPA has hit a bump in the road, but there is no incentive for them to change their ways. They know that very few will fight like the Sacketts. They can illegally intimidate most people to satisfy their lust for power and even if they get caught abusing their authority and knowingly violating the US Constitution, there is no punishment. Absolutely nothing is being done to permanently rectify the problem and punish those responsible.
If you have any sway with your congressman, please call and ask for meaningful action to be taken now.
Tomorrow the EPA will do it again, only this time it might involve your property.
That's what I think. What do you think?
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