Mike and Chantell Sackett just wanted to build their dream home in the Idaho panhandle. Instead, they’re headed to the U.S. Supreme Court in a long-running dispute with the Environmental Protection Agency, which claims their property is wetlands. The case is among the most watched before the court this year.
Justices will hear the Sacketts’ case Monday. At issue is whether citizens like the Sacketts have recourse to challenge the EPA’s actions in a court of law. Lower courts have said they don’t, but Supreme Court justices want to settle the issue.
On this week’s Scribecast, we spoke to Damien Schiff, senior staff attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation. He’ll be arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
Schiff explained how the Sacketts found themselves under assault from EPA bureaucrats and what a decision would mean for individual liberty. If the Sacketts prevail at the Supreme Court, it means they would be able to take the EPA to court.
In 2005, the Sacketts bought their home in Priest Lake, ID, subdivision for $23,000. They ran into trouble after obtaining building permits for their three-bedroom home. Upon laying gravel, the EPA swooped in threatened the Sacketts with fines if they didn’t comply with the government’s order.
Their case prompted Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to hold a congressional hearing in which they testified last year.