Here's a "New York Liberty" article I think you'd be interested in
reading. Its full title is "Victory for Property Rights: Supreme Court
rules against feds! Takes stinging power away from Obama's EPA."
The article deals with a recent Supreme Court of the United States'
(SCOTUS) decision in the case of the Sackett family of Priest Lake,
Idaho. The gist of the case: Mike and Chantell Sackett bought a piece of
land in a residential subdivision that was about two-thirds of an acre,
purchased the appropriate building permits and started work on their
dream home. Then the EPA arrived, declared the land a "wetland" and gave
the Sacketts a working over.
While many consider this Supreme Court ruling against the EPA a
resounding victory for property rights, I don't agree.
For one thing, despite the law firm, mentioned in the article that
worked on behalf of the Sacketts (the property owners at the center of
the case), considering the decision as a "precedent-setting victory
for the rights of all property owners," I paused when the article said,
"The high court today said the EPA must provide a process through which
a challenge to its decision can be addressed in a meaningful way."
"Meaningful way" seems to me that SCOTUS is only saying to the EPA "if
you want to f**k We the People in their collective posteriors, you can't
do it so blatantly and aggressively. Please do it kinder and gentler.
Lubrication will be appreciated."
Indeed, Damien Schiff, the principal attorney for the Pacific Legal
Foundation, which represented the couple without charge, and who argued
the case at the Supreme Court on Jan. 9 echoed my take on SCOTUS's
ruling when he said, "Rest assured, while today's ruling
strengthens everyone's individual rights and property rights, and
everyone's access to justice, it does not weaken legitimate
environmental protection one iota. Regulators will simply have to be
professional and thorough, not careless and slipshod, when they issue
wetlands orders.[my emphasis]"
Please understand that I sympathize with how Mike Sackett and his wife
were subjected to, as Mike described, "hell," by EPA federal
bureaucrats. I was also heartened when he said, "We are very
thankful to the Supreme Court for affirming that we have rights, and
that the EPA is not a law unto itself and that the EPA is not beyond the
control of the courts and the Constitution."
Still, I don't know what constitutional issues SCOTUS addressed in this
case, but consider this: When EPA bureaucrats were claiming that the
Sackett's property was a "wetland," they did so not based on any rigid
definition of "wetland," but "on the fly." That is, they made up the
rules as they went along. When you couple this with the accusations
(correctly made) that Obama's EPA wants to make up its own rules to
regulate green house gases because such legislation had failed to pass
in Congress, aren't they "legislating"? If so, I like to remind you what
Article 1, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution says (at least in my copy
of the U.S. Constitution): "All legislative Powers herein granted shall
be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a
Senate and House of Representatives."
Does that seem like the EPA could legally make up its own rules, let
alone enforce them, as if the Constitution gave them the power to
legislate? I don't think so.
Another thing, when Damien Schiff, in his quote I previously cited,
talked about "legitimate environmental protection," I must ask: Does the
EPA have any business whatsoever with "legitimate environmental
protection"? Excuse me, but I cannot find anywhere in the Constitution,
a section or a clause, that gives government the power to "protect the
environment." At least I can't find it in my Constitution. Can you find
it in yours? (And I don't want to hear any reference to the "Commerce
Clause." Besides, how can you lawfully define "environment," the
purported area for EPA "legitimate protection? I suppose you can define
"environment" as "the world we live in," which is how most people
understand "environment." If so, then here's a suggestion for an EPA
motto: "Our job is to protect and save the world. Your job is to obey
At the end, since SCOTUS in this ruling forces the EPA to relent in its
persecution of the Sacketts and return the rightful use of their land to
them, the Sacketts scored a victory. (Actually only one half a victory
since SCOTUS did not require the EPA to pay damages, the Sacketts must
sue the EPA in civil court to recover any damages.) But since SCOTUS did
not rule against the EPA's unconstitutional and extralegal rule making,
or, better, declare the EPA's existence as unconstitutional, the
government's war, through its EPA surrogate (among hundreds of other
surrogates), against We the People continues.
Thanks for reading.