Experts Predict Court Win for Sacketts
Experts at a Georgetown University Law Center forum predicted the U.S. Supreme Court will side with the Idaho couple who brought a case against the Environmental Protection Agency after the agency denied them a hearing on a wetlands designation.
In 2007, the EPA told Idahoans Mike and Chantell Sackett that the land upon which the couple was building their home was wetlands. When the Sacketts were ordered to stop building their new home and return the land to its original state or face possible jail time and more than $30,000 in fines per day under the Clean Water Act, the Sacketts asked for a hearing, which they were denied.
A federal judge in Idaho and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco also rejected the couple’s request for a hearing. Now the U.S. Supreme Court is weighing in on whether the Sacketts are entitled to a hearing to contest EPA’s order.
Participating in a Georgetown University Law Center forum held a few hours after the arguments in Sackett v. EPA had ended, law professors Richard Lazarus and Richard Frank, of Harvard and University of California-Davis, respectively, said they expected the Supreme Court to rule in the Sackett’s favor. Lazarus said the court’s decision was “potentially unanimous.”
The Sacketts say their property, which has at best a distant view of Priest Lake, is not a wetland.