ON THURSDAY, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a significant ruling against the Environmental Protection Agency’s out-of-control power grab rules to take control of water on private property.
The ruling was also unanimous, meaning that the liberals agreed with the majority that the EPA illegally took control of all waters in the U.S., even though they were not previously controlled by the federal government.
During his presidency, fully eleven years ago, Obama directed the EPA to issue rules redefining the “Waters of the United States” and taking control of all bodies of water in the U.S., including water on private property (such as streams, ponds, and even run-offs that only filled with water temporarily during heavy rainstorms). This outrageous move essentially ceded all waters to the government and, by regulation taking private property away from private owners.
But in its unanimous ruling, the SCOTUS ruled that the EPA far exceeded its authority to make such decisions without Congressional action.
Per CBS News:
In an opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito in the case known as Sackett v. EPA, the high court found that the agency’s interpretation of the wetlands covered under the Clean Water Act is “inconsistent” with the law’s text and structure, and the law extends only to “wetlands with a continuous surface connection to bodies of water that are ‘waters of the United States’ in their own right.”
Five justices joined the majority opinion by Alito, while the remaining four — Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson — concurred in the judgment.
The decision from the conservative court is the latest to target the authority of the EPA to police pollution. On the final day of its term last year, the high court limited the agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, dealing a blow to efforts to combat climate change.
Still, even though it admitted that the decision was 9 to 0, CBS had to ding the court, calling it a “decision from ‘the conservative court.”
In any case, the SCOTUS agreed with the EPS’s detractors that it acted illegally by writing rules that gave itself vast powers without involving Congress.
The whole case started eleven years ago when the EPA told Mike and Chantell Sackett that they were not allowed to build a home on their property because the EPA decided the area was a “wetland.” The EPA also demanded that the Sacketts tear down what they had already built and imposed fines of thousands of dollars daily until they complied.
Several years ago, the court had already invalidated the fines but had not ruled on the merits of the abuse of power.
Now they finally have. And this is very important.
Until now, our regulatory regime has been stealing more and more power from everyday Americans. It’s about time that power is checked and reversed.
Cross-Posted with iPatriot