by Ron Paul
Last week the Supreme Court heard arguments in Sackett v. EPA, a case of blatant federal agency overreach and abuse of private property rights. Without any proof or reason, and no chance for appeal, the Environmental Protection Agency determined that a small single home lot was a “protected wetland.” The owners, Mike and Chantell Sackett, were ordered to halt construction already underway, to remove all of the work already done, and plant trees and shrubs consistent with a wetlands environment. After making these costly changes, the Sackets then would have to wait several years for the EPA to decide if they would be allowed the use of their own property. Refusal to comply with these outrageous and arbitrary commandments would result in daily fines greater than the value of the property!
Outraged, the Sacketts sought relief through the courts, but court after court determined that they had no standing. The actions of the EPA were not subject to judicial review until a mountain of fees had already been assessed. This is just another example not only of how federal agencies wield enormous power over average citizens, but also how little practical protection our court system provides when such citizens are harmed by those agencies.Details