Damien Schiff, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, says: “The Sacketts’ ordeal is emblematic of all that has gone wrong with the implementation of the Clean Water Act.”
“The Sacketts’ lot lacks a surface water connection to any stream, creek, lake, or other water body, and it shouldn’t be subject to federal regulation and permitting,” Schiff adds. “The Sacketts are delighted that the Court has agreed to take their case a second time, and hope the Court rules to bring fairness, consistency, and a respect for private property rights to the Clean Water Act’s administration.”
In hearing the Sacketts’ case, the court will revisit the 2006 opinion it issued in Rapanos v. United States, another case litigated by Pacific Legal Foundation. In that case, a divided court left unclear which wetlands are under the federal government’s jurisdiction.
While the Sackett litigation has continued, the past three administrations made regulatory changes under the Clean Water Act. A federal court struck down Trump administration rules favored by development and agriculture interests. And the Biden administration favors going back to something similar to the 2015 WOTUS regulations under Obama.
The Biden Justice Department opposed SCOTUS hearing a second Sackett appeal.