Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dancing Like Marionettes

The Sackett Case before the Supreme Court was decided today. The Sackett's won in a unanimous decision. There is a great deal of mainstream reporting on this case, so I won't go into much detail on this blog. However, I want to relay a quote from the prevailing counsel, Damien Schiff:

It is a great day for all Americans, for all property owners, and for the rule of law. The justices have made it clear that EPA bureaucrats are answerable to the law and the courts just like the rest of us. EPA can’t try to micromanage people and their property — it can’t order property owners to dance like marionettes — while denying them any meaningful right to appeal to the courts. It can’t threaten property owners with financial ruin and not have to justify its threats to a judge. And it can’t issue lazy, drive-by ‘wetlands’ edicts about private property. It will have to put in some honest work and use credible science, because the regulators must be able to justify their wetlands orders in a court of law.

While not directly related to our CAOs, there are quite a few notable similarities. The notions of financial ruin, of drive-by wetlands edicts, and having property owners dance like marionettes seem familiar to many islanders. Below is the lot owned by the Sackett's that was declared a wetland by EPA. The Sackett's faced fines of up to $75,000 per day for their alleged violation, for a lot they paid $23,000 for.

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