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Property rights: 9-0

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Sunday, March 25, 2012
 

It's outrageous to see some in the lamestream media characterize a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling that stopped a tyrannical EPA from running roughshod over property owners as being a great victory for corporations hellbent on destroying the environment.

But that's what happens when major media outlets gather their "intelligence" -- if not take their marching orders -- from the likes of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Essentially, the high court ruled that those who build on their property have the right to challenge EPA diktats preventing building before first being forced into pauperism to comply.

It was an arbitrary and capricious EPA that forced Michael and Chantell Sackett to stop construction on their home in an almost fully developed plan in the Idaho Panhandle. The EPA classified the site, less than an acre, as a protected "wetland."

What constitutes a "wetland" remains in legal limbo. But the Sackett property clearly isn't. Or as Justice Antonin Scalia joked, the Sacketts never saw "a ship or other vessel cross their yard." They'll likely prevail in their challenge.

It was in January that NRDC senior attorney Larry Levine, fearing a Sackett victory, warned of the EPA cutting back "on the use of such orders to avoid getting bogged down in court."

Allow us to translate: The EPA no longer will be able to terrorize property owners with impunity.

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