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U.S. Supreme Court Rebukes EPA Enforcement Practices in Stunning 9-0 Decision
Many, including this writer, have lamented the tyranny oft-imposed by the judicial branch on the rest of us. Such abuses have included “Alice in Wonderland” interpretations such as:
Implicit in this creeping expansion of government, especially at the federal level, is that more and more rules, regulations, and other restrictions on liberty and freedom are being promulgated not by legislatures, but rather by unelected (and unaccountable) bureaucrats. A nasty turn in recent years is that even trying to fight against these bureaucrats (“rage against the machine”) can be impossibly costly and draconian fines and even imprisonment awaits individuals and small businesses that try to do so. The adage “you can’t fight City Hall” may not be true, but “you can’t fight the Agency” (that is backed by essentially unlimited resources) may be.
All of the apparatchik may finally have gone too far. In case you didn’t hear, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) went nuclear against the bureaucracy last month. In a truly stunning and equally rare 9-0 decision, the Court overturned decades of Agencies’ jack-booted practices (and lower court rulings). (Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency,et.al., March 21, 2012)
[The Sacketts, an Idaho couple trying to build a house on purchased land near a lake, had been accused, tried, convicted, and sentenced by the EPA for violating what are now called the wetlands provisions of the Clean Water Act, even though their property had no water on it until one dug down 12 feet or so below ground level! Further, under EPA rules, the Sacketts could not even appeal the EPA ruling without incurring $75,000 per day in fines! And this was after the Sacketts actually WON in court!]
While the court did not rule on the issue of which party was correct on the merits, it clearly ruled that one’s due process rights could not be abridged. Justice Alito intoned “In a nation that values due process, not to mention private property, such treatment is unthinkable.”
Joe Speelman, an attorney specializing in such regulations, adds that:
9-0 Supreme Court decisions are not common, but this is the second unanimous loss in two months for the corrupt Obama administration’s DOJ led by Eric Holder. The first was in January when the Court ruled that Churches can hire and fire based on doctrinal reasons and this is protected by the First Amendment.
Let’s all pray that the much maligned judges are awakening to their Constitutional role of protecting the Constitution and its provisions!