Will the Supreme Court stop the EPA?

posted at 4:15 pm on December 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Mike and Chantell Sackett thought that they had achieved the American dream of not just owning their own home, but building one themselves.  They bought a parcel of land zoned for residential construction in Idaho that was slightly larger than a half-acre and began construction on the house.  The EPA stopped them from proceeding by informing the Sacketts that their land was considered federally-protected wetlands, and that not only would they have to cease construction, they were required to return the land to the same condition as they had found it.  Each day that they failed to do so, the EPA could fine them $32,500.  The only way they could challenge this ruling is if the EPA sought judicial enforcement of the order, which the EPA is not inclined to do for obvious reasons and which would take years anyway.

Next month, Reason’s Damon Root reports, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sackett v EPA, and it has an opportunity to return private property rights to their proper standing (via our Townhall colleague Helen Whalen Cohen):

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” This means that if the government infringes on your rights, you are entitled to mount a timely and meaningful defense of those rights in court. It’s one of the cornerstones of our entire legal system, with roots dating back at least as far as the Magna Carta, which declared, “No free man…shall be stripped of his rights or possessions…except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”

Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prefers a less venerable form of justice, as the Supreme Court will hear next month during oral arguments in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue is the EPA’s enforcement of the Clean Water Act through so-called administrative compliance orders, which are government commands that allow the agency to control the use of private property without the annoyance of having to subject its actions to judicial review. …

For its part, the EPA argues that old-fashioned judicial review would simply get in the way. As the agency states in the brief it submitted to the Supreme Court, “A rule that broadly authorized immediate judicial review of such agency communications would ultimately disserve the interests of both the government and regulated parties, by discouraging interactive processes that can obviate the need for judicial action.”

Of course, the whole point of due process is that people sometimes do have “the need for judicial action” against overreaching government officials. Why should those people have to give up that right to the EPA? More to the point, why should the Supreme Court allow it to happen?

As the Institute for Justice observes in the friend of the court brief it filed on behalf of the Sacketts, “If other governmental agencies were to adopt an enforcement mechanism like that used by the Environmental Protection Agency in this case, the constitutional guarantee of due process under the law would be severely harmed and the ability to own and use private property would be subject to the unrestrained and unreviewed orders of government officials.” There’s a term for that sort of unchecked government power, and it’s not interactive processes.

There could be a Sixth Amendment argument for the Sacketts as well.  The Sixth Amendment protects the right of “a speedy trial” in relation to criminal prosecutions.  The EPA’s actions here are technically not criminal prosecutions, but they are punitive actions rather than civil torts.  Delaying judicial review capriciously in order to disadvantage citizens accused of breaking the law, especially for years, in order to force them into submission certainly flies in the face of the spirit of the Sixth Amendment.

House Energy and Commerce chair Fred Upton attacks the EPA in a National Review essay this week, and the regulatory adventurism of the Obama administration in general:

In the next few days, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is expected to issue another final regulation directed at electricity utilities. This rule, known as the Utility MACT, will impose an estimated $11 billion each year in new costs on our economy. It will threaten electricity-generating capacity in many parts of the country. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this administration’s runaway rulemaking. …

The Obama administration and likeminded Democrats in Congress have consistently misread the problem and the solution. They missed the American people’s desire for balanced policy that protects jobs; they failed to see that reasonable regulatory solutions garnered broad support; and they underestimated the depth of our economic problems.

According to data available from the Office of Management and Budget, President Obama has issued 50 percent more “economically significant regulations” (those with an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more) per year than President Clinton and 44 percent more than George W. Bush.

Unfortunately, when it comes to regulations, it’s not just that there are more of them: The Obama administration’s regulatory actions are also more expensive. The average annual cost of major regulations under the Bush administration was $4.9 billion. Under Obama, the average cost has ballooned to $12.5 billion — that’s a cost increase of more than 150 percent to American businesses and consumers.

The Supreme Court has an opportunity in this term to curb the runaway abuse of regulatory power by the Obama administration, and return control of federal policy to Congress and a rational process of rulemaking that instills the accountability and due process that will give regulation credibility.  Let’s hope they get this one right, and don’t pull another Kelo.


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Looking forward to the outcome on this one.

HopeHeFails on December 17, 2011 at 4:22 PM

N O P E !

KOOLAID2 on December 17, 2011 at 4:24 PM

“A rule that broadly authorized immediate judicial review of such agency communications would ultimately disserve the interests of both the government and regulated parties, by discouraging interactive processes that can obviate the need for judicial action.”

TRANSLATION: We are your betters. We know everything. We will tell you where to live. How to live. And you’ll damned well learn to know your place. And like it.

GarandFan on December 17, 2011 at 4:24 PM

The fine folks of the EPA need to be dragged out back and shot

Stoic Patriot on December 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

It doesn’t matter. if the SCOTUS returns the power to Congress, Congress will simply pass another law to place the “power” back in the hands of no named officals to avoid the political blowback

unseen on December 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Just another rogue agency stacked with rabid psuedo intellctuals via emotional higher education.

RAGIN CAJUN on December 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

“For its part, the EPA argues that old-fashioned judicial review would simply get in the way.”

Exactly so! Judicial review is a protection against tyranny!

Steven Den Beste on December 17, 2011 at 4:26 PM

The EPA has been stepping over its boundaries for a while now. They need to be ruled against to show that they can’t stop humans from having a life because of the “wetlands.” I’m with Huckabee on this issue: I’m a conservationalist, not an environmentalist. People should be chosen over animals every time.

-Bethany
http://nextgenerationvoters.com/

NextGenerationVoters on December 17, 2011 at 4:27 PM

N O P E !
(2 recent whacko’s will make the difference-give him 4 more years and we all will be raising 1 or 2 fingers if we have to go to the bathroom)

KOOLAID2 on December 17, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Obama is a very sick man. He thinks he is God.

VorDaj on December 17, 2011 at 4:33 PM

I understand that an old classmate of mine works there as a (what else?) lawyer. He was a putz back then and now he is a professional putz.

Rixon on December 17, 2011 at 4:36 PM

TRANSLATION: We are your betters. We know everything. We will tell you where to live. How to live. And you’ll damned well learn to know your place. And like it.

GarandFan on December 17, 2011 at 4:24 PM

No Hope, Only Chains:
Welcome to the ObamaNation
Next Stop: The Third World Zone

VorDaj on December 17, 2011 at 4:37 PM

The fine folks of the EPA need to be dragged out back and shot

Stoic Patriot on December 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

That’s not very stoic of you; patriotic, yes, stoic, no.

turfmann on December 17, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Attention passengers! Welcome to the U.S. of P.C. and E.P.A. As you work your way through the current state of America, for you own good, please make sure that any inconvenient facts and associated criticisms are stored neatly within yourself. Otherwise, Emperor Hussein Louie Obamalini , Big Sis Napoleon and their dedicated Gropestapo will come to help you reorder your priorities. You are welcome to file a complain via the soon to be Islamic FCC regulated Internet. We apologize if your federal officials cannot respond to every inquiry. They may merely be previously committed to representing other more lucrative interests more relevant to their own pocketbooks. And as always, have a nice day.

Cheshire Cat on December 17, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Obama is a very sick man. He thinks he is God.

VorDaj on December 17, 2011 at 4:33 PM

No, 4th best President we’ve ever had (though I honestly think he was being MODEST about himself!)

golfmann on December 17, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Did the local authorities responsible for defining the zoning status of this land get involved in this case? I didn’t see it mentioned in the story.

How is this kind of action (on the part of the EPA) NOT a provocation to armed revolution/civil war?

listens2glenn on December 17, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Remember Kelo. This court has no compunction about the confiscation of property, liberty or speech….unless you are an illegal alien.

pat on December 17, 2011 at 4:43 PM

I think the entire federal government should work like this: If judicial review will only “get in the way” then the review should be bypassed.

Think how much simpler life would be if the smarter, better people of our society made decisions for us. Man, I LIKE the idea of Pelosi, Schumer and Krugman deciding what is best for me and mine.

Bishop on December 17, 2011 at 4:49 PM

House Energy and Commerce chair Fred Upton attacks the EPA in a National Review essay this week, and the regulatory adventurism of the Obama administration in general

Isn’t Upton part of the reason that the insipid light bulb ban went forward in the first place? If so, how seriously can anyone take his “attack” on the EPA?

beatcanvas on December 17, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Its not possible to think our nation was founded to provide government with unlimited power.

Speakup on December 17, 2011 at 4:50 PM

And everyone was appalled at Newt’s statements about breaking up the circuit courts, especial the 9th Circus.

Rixon on December 17, 2011 at 4:52 PM

The fine folks of the EPA need to be dragged out back and shot

Stoic Patriot on December 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

That’s not very stoic of you; patriotic, yes, stoic, no.

turfmann on December 17, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Sometimes you just have to pick one. =P

Stoic Patriot on December 17, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Until we can hold unaccountable government agents accountable for the decisions they make that harm citizens then it will continue. Unfortunately, I think it will take tar & feathers or hemp parties to end this travesty. Don’t count on congress to address this since they allowed all these agencies to shield them from the decisions we are paying them to make. They chose long, lucrative careers over the welfare of the people decades ago.

chemman on December 17, 2011 at 4:53 PM

The SCOTUS had no problem with Kelo, why will it be different this time?

wb-33777 on December 17, 2011 at 4:55 PM

“No free man…shall be stripped of his rights or possessions…except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”

If a free man can be stripped of his rights or possessions, then he was never a free man to begin with.

Dante on December 17, 2011 at 5:00 PM

The SCOTUS had no problem with Kelo, why will it be different this time?

wb-33777 on December 17, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Roberts and Alito are now on the court. They weren’t for Kelo.

Stoic Patriot on December 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM

The First Plank of the Communist Manifesto:

Abolition of property in land and the application of all rents of land to public purposes

By the way, if you read all ten of them you will see that it looks like Obumbler’s play book .

hoofhearted on December 17, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Yeah, Kelo. How did that shining example of judicial wisdom work out? From Wikipedia:

The city eventually agreed to move Susette Kelo’s house to a new location and to pay substantial additional compensation to other homeowners. The redeveloper was unable to obtain financing and abandoned the redevelopment project, leaving the land as an empty lot,[2] which was eventually turned into a dump by the city.

RoadRunner on December 17, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Its not possible to think our nation was founded to provide government with unlimited power.

Speakup on December 17, 2011 at 4:50 PM

That’s why this election is so important. Remember the EPA was started by an executive order from Nixon, and it was always meant to meddle into the daily lives of not just businesses but all people.

batterup on December 17, 2011 at 5:06 PM

The Court had several choice opportunities to correct that Kelo eminent domain mistake and the final count has came up short. Perhaps this time Scalia can do a better job of persuading three or more of his colleagues to get there head out.

try again later on December 17, 2011 at 5:12 PM

How about we just skip the Supreme Court review and actually FOLLOW THE GODDAM CONSTITUTION?!

gryphon202 on December 17, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Because simply OWNING 30% of all the land in the US isn’t enough for the federal government.

rogerb on December 17, 2011 at 5:15 PM

God sometimes the overreach of the government in general and this administration are unbelievable. My land my right to build on it as I see fit.

chitwin on December 17, 2011 at 5:21 PM

…Remember the EPA was started by an executive order from Nixon, and it was always meant to meddle into the daily lives of not just businesses but all people.

batterup on December 17, 2011 at 5:06 PM

And it was its first chief, William Ruckleshaus, who used Rachel Carson’s phony science to ban DDT (sound familiar?), causing the needless deaths of over 20 million in Africa and across the third world from malaria.

As Joe Stalin once said “The death of one is a tragedy; the death of a million is a statistic.”

I truly hate these people with the heat from a billion suns.

Rixon on December 17, 2011 at 5:21 PM

As an attorney who has litigated with EPA all the way to SCOTUS (they denied cert on a warrantless search) I don’t hold out much hope for the Sacketts. This is, after all, the same court that decided the existing Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate carbon dioxide.

Who needs that Congress bunch, eh?

2ndMAW68 on December 17, 2011 at 5:23 PM

How about we just skip the Supreme Court review and actually FOLLOW THE GODDAM CONSTITUTION?!

gryphon202 on December 17, 2011 at 5:14 PM

I’m in favor of that. It could become the RE-occupy movement. Heh.

Rixon on December 17, 2011 at 5:23 PM

I have this gut feeling that the supremes want to take the big communist ZERO to the woodshed after the big communist ZERO declared war on them in the SUTU speech a few years ago.

stenwin77 on December 17, 2011 at 5:28 PM

NextGenerationVoters on December 17, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Bethany,

The fact that you have your website link embedded in your username should be sufficient.

Is it too much to ask that you refrain from spamming hotair with your web address?

You may do well to emulate other bloggers such as JammieWearingFool & Jim Treacher who routinely post here without the in-your-face self-promotion.

pain train on December 17, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Does anyone remember the model home from the Cancun Econazi/AGW conference last year? It was a 500 ft2 hovel with very few of the appliances and niceties the middle class want (and expect). The washer/drier consisted of a concrete washboard and a clothesline.

The same cohort of communists run the EPA. They view the middle class as the problem…as does Obama. Their goal is kill suburbs and any further development. They want you living in a Soviet style, government owned apartment block. That way the entitlement slaves don’t feel bad that you have more, and you’re easier to monitor and control.

Always look to California to see what’s next. Their “Smart Growth” laws are straight out of the UN’s Agenda 21.

Kungfoochimp on December 17, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Respect the judiciary my assets :
http://www.therightscoop.com/mark-levin-calls-out-ann-coulter-for-unfairly-trashing-newt-gingrich/
The Great One nails it

burrata on December 17, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Two words: Anthony. Kennedy.

This won’t end well. Congress needs to defund the f***ing EPA, but that would take a lot more balls than they’ve got.

bofh on December 17, 2011 at 5:52 PM

you have to admit that it’s humorous to watch ole’ “light bulb” Upton get whiplash in an anti-regulatory frenzy.

well, i mean it would be funny if we were watching a B movie about a banana republic….but i guess, really, not so much

r keller on December 17, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Hamstring the EPA and gut Obamacare in the same session? Too much to hope I fear.

jnelchef on December 17, 2011 at 5:56 PM

There was a case down here in South Carolina last summer at Litchfield Beach where the South Carolina Supreme Court determined that some builder, who had gone through all the proper paperwork, had done something wrong. The case had to do with filling-in wetlands. Some activist group brought suit against the builder. This case probably will work its way through to the Supreme Court too. It is pretty bad when you do all the paperwork that everyone says that you needs to be done and get approval, only to find out that you can get slapped with a fine and an order to return the land to its former state.

SC.Charlie on December 17, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Remember the EPA was started by an executive order from Nixon, and it was always meant to meddle into the daily lives of not just businesses but all people.

batterup on December 17, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Two words: Anthony. Kennedy

.

This won’t end well. Congress needs to defund the f***ing EPA, but that would take a lot more balls than they’ve got.

bofh on December 17, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Nixon gave us the former and Reagan gave us the latter

tommy-t on December 17, 2011 at 6:07 PM

The SCOTUS had no problem with Kelo, why will it be different this time?

wb-33777 on December 17, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Because most of this court has actually read the Constitution, unlike the Kelo Court.

JIMV on December 17, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Roberts and Alito are now on the court. They weren’t for Kelo.

Stoic Patriot on December 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM

3 of the 5 justices who voted in support of Kelo were appointed by Republican presidents.

tommy-t on December 17, 2011 at 6:14 PM

IMHO what we need is two things, the ability to sue the agency for excess (to include costs of the suit) and a time limit on rule writing on any law, say a year. If they have not met the intent of Congress in a year, tough luck.

JIMV on December 17, 2011 at 6:14 PM

3 of the 5 justices who voted in support of Kelo were appointed by Republican presidents.

tommy-t on December 17, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Unfortunately, simply being appointed by republicans is no guarantee of the Judge having a clue about the Constitution. It just raises the chances of competence, doesn’t guarantee it.

JIMV on December 17, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Because most of this court has actually read the Constitution, unlike the Kelo Court.

JIMV on December 17, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Many have read the Constitution and still have no idea what it says.

tommy-t on December 17, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Let us pray.

Buy Danish on December 17, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Now does Newt Gingrich’s position on Court’s destroying American’s traditional rights as if the Constitution Makes Them make more sense?

The Pro-Romney press has savaged Gingrich for “Threatening the Courts who protect us.” Hell, the courts are protecting every thing they can get away with except American Citizens’rights. Tell them they will pay a price for that like President and GOP leader Gingrich says, and then see what happens.

jimw on December 17, 2011 at 6:21 PM

pain train on December 17, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Lighten up on the kid. Sheesh, all you got to gripe about is a link?

serenity on December 17, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Lighten up on the kid. Sheesh, all you got to gripe about is a link?

serenity on December 17, 2011 at 6:25 PM

The FNG’s need to be shown the ropes.

tommy-t on December 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM

“Of course, the whole point of due process is that people sometimes do have “the need for judicial action” against overreaching government officials.”

Seems to me that judicial action, is not “action” per se, but an “interactive process” with an impartial moderator which “obviates” the need for one side to kowtow to the other lest they get fined into bankruptcy.

This judicial mediated approach ought to be encouraged over the one-sided processes the EPA uses when engaging in interactiveness.

Dusty on December 17, 2011 at 6:37 PM

De-fund it and make them make a case for any bans based on objective evidence.
Sounds reasonable to me and that approach would set precedent for review of past bans.

Mimzey on December 17, 2011 at 6:42 PM

..with an impartial moderator which “obviates” the need for one side to kowtow to the other lest they get fined into bankruptcy.

This judicial mediated approach ought to be encouraged over the one-sided processes the EPA uses when engaging in interactiveness.

Dusty on December 17, 2011 at 6:37 PM

I think the word bloviates describes what we have now for a process method.

Mimzey on December 17, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Next month, Reason’s Damon Root reports, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sackett v EPA

Ed, you know, Reason didn’t report that Pacific Legal Foundation is arguing that case. Strange.

AshleyTKing on December 17, 2011 at 6:48 PM

I think the word bloviates describes what we have now for a process method.

[Mimzey on December 17, 2011 at 6:45 PM]

LOL.

Dusty on December 17, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Wondering why these restrictions were not found before the land sale.Something doesn’t smell right here.

jeanie on December 17, 2011 at 6:53 PM

“The Supreme Court has an opportunity in this term to curb the runaway abuse of regulatory power by the Obama administration, and return control of federal policy to Congress and a rational process of rulemaking that instills the accountability and due process that will give regulation credibility.”

Personally, Ed, I’m none too happy with relying on SCOTUS having to return not policy but what is actually law-making to Congress. Congress has abandoned their responsibility by devolving their lawmaking obligations to the Executive branch and I’d like to see a Constitutional amendment to force it back into their laps.

Something on the order of Congress being required to approve any law-making with the President signature prior any rule taking effect would solve this kind of problem and put responsibility where it ought to be — in the hands of our elected representatives.

Dusty on December 17, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Wondering why these restrictions were not found before the land sale.Something doesn’t smell right here.

jeanie on December 17, 2011 at 6:53 PM

It’s kind of complicated, but the bottom line is that the Feds have published maps of wetlands, with the proviso those maps aren’t the final say on whether wetlands are or aren’t a particular piece of property, and IIRC, the Feds define wetlands down to half-acre in size and it requires a field visit to confirm it’s “existence” for lack of a better way of explaining it.

Secondly, the review process for construction requires lead agency designation, which is usually the local planning board. They would be required to verify during the process that the issue of wetlands is not an issue. It sounds like they did as a formality because when they zoned it residential and allowed it as a lot.

That last part, it seems to me, is also important and this wasn’t mentioned in the story at all. Having an approved residential lot, whether held by the (previous) owner, or in this case the buyers (the Sacketts) become unbuildable by determination of a government agency and, as such, now next to worthless, ought to be considered a taking (re: eminent domain style) for which compensation should be paid by the government.

Dusty on December 17, 2011 at 7:24 PM

I’m not totally versed on the genesis of the EPA (it was a Nixon era creation I believe) but it always amazes me how our Legislative branch will routinely pass laws that take away the rights of free people to seek redress for grievances via the courts. I’m not a big fan of using the courts for every little dispute but it would seem to me that the creation of an agency with the power to control your private property is a teensy-weensy bit outside the ideals set forth by our Founding Fathers…

I believe Obamacare is written in this way as well…the SCOTUS should rule as broadly as possible to strike down this kind of nonsense…

powerpickle on December 17, 2011 at 8:17 PM

I like Perry’s solution to the EPA. De-Centralize it and return it to it’s advisory capacity.

workingclass artist on December 17, 2011 at 8:42 PM

No, 4th best President we’ve ever had still living(though I he honestly think he was being MODEST about himself!)

Fixed it for you Golfman

LarryinLA on December 17, 2011 at 9:32 PM

gryphon202 on December 17, 2011 at 5:14 PM

I’m in favor of that. It could become the RE-occupy movement. Heh.

Rixon on December 17, 2011 at 5:23 PM

I don’t want to occupy or re-occupy shit. I want to be left alone. Instead we depend on a group of nine busybodies to reign in the busybodies that tell us what we can and can’t do, and all that without ANY authority in the constitution whatsoever. Anyone else here bothered by that in the least? Bueller? Bueller?

gryphon202 on December 17, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Wondering why these restrictions were not found before the land sale.Something doesn’t smell right here.

jeanie on December 17, 2011 at 6:53 PM

I was wondering why this wasn’t resolved at the building permit step. A seller can misrepresent the status of the land but it should be clarified when a permit is issued.

KW64 on December 17, 2011 at 10:46 PM

gryphon202 on December 17, 2011 at 10:14 PM

I was being somewhat sarcastic. When I said “re-occupy” I meant re-establish the constitutional republic as originally intended by the founders.

There is another word I want to use, but you get in trouble here for using it.

Rixon on December 17, 2011 at 10:52 PM

The EPA should pay when they loose the case for the cost of sticking it to the plaintiff along with pain and suffering for each day this was delayed they should pay the fine they were trying to impose

darby on December 17, 2011 at 11:39 PM

Conress is the agency of the people’s will to protect the environment, etc.

The EPA is a wasteful and redundant bureacracy that should be abolished as a unnecessary duplication of what we already have elected representatives hired to do.

profitsbeard on December 18, 2011 at 12:03 AM

The fine folks of the EPA need to be dragged out back and shot

Stoic Patriot on December 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Shooting is too good for these slugs. I suggest staking out in the sun, with wet rawhide tied tightly around their necks.

baron scarpia on December 18, 2011 at 12:21 AM

I was being somewhat sarcastic. When I said “re-occupy” I meant re-establish the constitutional republic as originally intended by the founders.

Rixon on December 17, 2011 at 10:52 PM

At this point I’d be happy to be left alone to screw up by myself. My statement stands.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2011 at 2:16 AM

After KELO, I don’t even trust this Supreme Court to get this right. Our country is in the whirlpool of a sewer drain, and is getting ready to get sucked down the tube. My college aged children don’t seem to understand how far left our country has drifted, I hope something happens soon to correct this trend or there will be no return to the country I grew up in.

MJZZZ on December 18, 2011 at 2:27 AM

Justification for Kelo is to increased the tax base by the taking, i.e. putting the land in commercial zoning. You know, for the benefit of the collective.

So New London is collecting higher taxes from the dump vs. just plain ol’ regular folks homes.

The eviro movement (EPA included) lives by ‘the ends justify the means’. Even if they have to lie.

old school on December 18, 2011 at 2:30 AM

It’s kind of complicated, but the bottom line is that the Feds have published maps of wetlands, with the proviso those maps aren’t the final say on whether wetlands are or aren’t a particular piece of property, and IIRC, the Feds define wetlands down to half-acre in size and it requires a field visit to confirm it’s “existence” for lack of a better way of explaining it.

Dusty on December 17, 2011 at 7:24 PM

First, we need to stop playing games according to THEIR made up rules! The US Constitution explicitly forbids federal land except for post roads, military bases, arsenals, and administrative and other needful BUILDINGS. So unless they are building federal buildings on those wetlands, it is un-Constitutional and ILLEGAL for the federal government to be involved!

Many have read the Constitution and still have no idea what it says.

tommy-t on December 17, 2011 at 6:16 PM

ABSOLUTELY! Including most so-called conservatives!

dominigan on December 18, 2011 at 3:46 AM

It doesn’t matter. if the SCOTUS returns the power to Congress, Congress will simply pass another law to place the “power” back in the hands of no named officals to avoid the political blowback

unseen on December 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

There’s so much truth to that, I really can’t stand it. The idea, I guess, is power without responsibility for negative consequences.

That seems to describe Obama’s mindset altogether.

Also, you reminded me of Atlas Shrugged again. I’ve been reminded of it so often lately (1) it’s become creepy, (2) I wish I’d never read it.

Axe on December 18, 2011 at 5:54 AM

America is just realizing that there is such a thing as government entitlement programs where federal employees justify their paychecks with laws they themselves write and enforce and ignoring the public rights of ownership. Our government is chockfull of these programs. Look over this listing and ask yourself what the heck these people do?

http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml

mixplix on December 18, 2011 at 6:23 AM

Where is the largest National Park in the United States? Right here in New York State and it’s call Adirondack National Park Given to the Federal Government by a past Governor Cuomo so he could qualify for federal money supposedly for the park. There are a bunch of laws that govern all the activity of the park with their two tone color code for signs and more State employees to keep track of this huge park that now forbids Game Clubs that stocked lakes with trout and game fish and now taken over by the State that will not stock a private lake or pond and if they do the lake or pond must be opened to the public. So much for the game clubs that pay the taxes on these tracts of land.

mixplix on December 18, 2011 at 6:40 AM

Private property rights are the basis of our republic. The steady erosion of those rights by the EPA, and other agenda driven agencies, is not an accident. It’s just another part of “fundamentally transforming” America.

SCOTUS has the opportunity to reverse this decades long trend with a broad enough ruling, but does anyone really believe they have the guts to do it? I don’t.

TWP on December 18, 2011 at 8:07 AM

The city eventually agreed to move Susette Kelo’s house to a new location and to pay substantial additional compensation to other homeowners. The redeveloper was unable to obtain financing and abandoned the redevelopment project, leaving the land as an empty lot which was eventually turned into a dump by the city.

It would be difficult to find a more perfect example of the failure of government in their assault on private property rights.

Jaibones on December 18, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Kelo. We already know how the SC thinks about private property and the ability to live where you want to live. They’ll say, yeah, Sacketts, we feel for you but we’ve already got precedence to make this decision on.

Kissmygrits on December 18, 2011 at 8:54 AM

The SCOTUS had no problem with Kelo, why will it be different this time?

wb-33777 on December 17, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Roberts and Alito are now on the court. They weren’t for Kelo.

Stoic Patriot on December 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM

One would hope this difference is significant.

digitalhap on December 18, 2011 at 9:38 AM

“A rule that broadly authorized immediate judicial review of such agency communications would ultimately disserve the interests of both the government and regulated parties, by discouraging interactive processes that can obviate the need for judicial action.”

This might make sense if there was interaction, but there’s none.

The EPA has a simple one-way interaction; COMPLY.

Without judicial review, the rights of individuals are trampled. My Christmas present this year would be to stand the EPA on its head, and make them argue the merits of every miserable edict they push on people.

itsspideyman on December 18, 2011 at 10:03 AM

serenity on December 17, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Maybe it’s just a pet peeve of mine but I’m not keen on other bloggers using Hot Air as a vehicle to blatantly promote their websites (Ed & AP reserve that honor in the Hot Links above).

It’s also in direct violation of the Terms Of Use for this website. If Bethany wants to play here, she should act like an adult (assuming she’s eighteen – also a requirement to post here).

pain train on December 18, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Exterminating
Productive
Activities

iurockhead on December 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM

The fine folks of the EPA need to be dragged out back and shot

Stoic Patriot on December 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Bullets contain lead, so there is the possibility that the bullets may pass through the bodies of EPA bureaucrats and contaminate the soil. This may put you in volation of EPA regulations. So to avoid EPA rules and regulations, it may be necessary to use hachets and machetes.

Wallythedog on December 18, 2011 at 12:03 PM

The fine folks of the EPA need to be dragged out back and shot

Stoic Patriot on December 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Bullets contain lead, so there is the possibility that the bullets may pass through the bodies of EPA bureaucrats and contaminate the soil. This may put you in volation of EPA regulations. So to avoid EPA rules and regulations, it may be necessary to use hachets hatchets and machetes.

Wallythedog on December 18, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Wallythedog on December 18, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Almost just as bad as the overreaching EPA is Congress lack of action at reigning in those guys. If the EPA would be defunded (better still, abolished: if you want to protect a piece of land, buy it, at market value; if there’s a public health concern that would be for the states to sort), they would not be able to cause any mischief at all.

Now that might be a measure a bit beyond what’s politically feasible right now, but if Congress simply paid attention they could still pass laws swiping any EPA regulation off the table. For starters by simply ruling that wetlands are not subject to any special protection, and directly followed by a bill that states that regulating CO2 is forbidden.

The EPA may be doing it, but Congress is letting it happen.

Phil_NL on December 18, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Uhhh No. It won’t. Wanna know why? Because I think those justices are getting pretty damn tired of ‘interpreting’ Congress intentions in the regulations and rules they write. Congress can fix their own rules.

kens on December 18, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Ron Paul will get rid of the EPA after he’s elected.

realitycheck on December 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Let’s hope they get this one right, and don’t pull another Kelo.

Therein lies the problem. Ever since the debacle that is the Kelo decision, I have absolutely no faith whatsoever in “Swing Vote” Kennedy.

Sigh.

Theophile on December 19, 2011 at 3:38 AM

nope, never happen. they are part of the regime

acyl72 on December 19, 2011 at 7:20 AM

No wonder people in Idaho and other western states decide to take up arms to protect their property from the (un)government agents. I have seen these kinds of events coming for many years. I’m glad for my Marine training since it will be helpful in the coming callapse of the current government.

rjulio on December 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Obama is a very sick man. He thinks he is God.

VorDaj on December 17, 2011 at 4:33 PM
No, 4th best President we’ve ever had (though I honestly think he was being MODEST about himself!)

golfmann

If you believe that golfmann…You are a very sick man!!!

logicman_1998 on December 19, 2011 at 2:15 PM