Mike and Chantell Sackett bought a building lot near Priest Lake in 2005. They planned to build a house there. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had other ideas. As I reported in rightwinggranny on January 9, 2012, the lot is less than an acre and is just 500 feet from Priest Lake on its west side. It is separated from the lake by a house and a road and has no standing water or any hydrologic connection to Lake Priest or any other body of water. Nevertheless, the EPA declared their lot a wetland and threatened to fine them $30,000 every day that they did not return the lot to its original condition. Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on the lawsuit that followed.
CNBC reported today:
In an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court rejected EPA’s argument that allowing property owners quick access to courts to contest orders like the one issued to the Sacketts would compromise the agency’s ability to deal with water pollution.
“Compliance orders will remain an effective means of securing prompt voluntary compliance in those many cases where there is no substantial basis to question their validity,” Scalia said.
In this case, the couple objected to the determination that their small lot contained wetlands that are regulated by the Clean Water Act, and they complained there was no reasonable way to challenge the order without risking fines that can mount quickly.
The value of this case is that it gives Americans a way to fight the EPA when it interferes with private property rights. Since the EPA is one of the ways some people in our government plan to institute Agenda 21(see rightwinggranny) and begin to end the concept of private property in the United States, this is a very important decision.
These are two quotes from United Nations leaders regarding private property:
“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class–involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing–are not sustainable.” Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s 1992 Earth Summit
“Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlements, cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of the accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes.” This is a quote from the 1976 UN Conference on Human Settlement, held in Vancouver, Canada. Under “Section D. Land,” of the Report of Habitat, which came out of the conference. It is from the preamble and speaks of the private ownership of land.
These quotes are from rightwinggranny on December 14, 2011. I am sure the Supreme Court will be called upon to rule on private property rights in the future. The President we elect in November will have a major role in deciding who sits on the Supreme Court. If you value American’s property rights, you will vote for a Republican in November. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a Supreme Court that does not support private property rights in America.