Behind the Headlines Video
The battle of one Idaho family represents just how out-of-control government has gotten. And activist judges who ignore the Constitution make matters worse.
Chantell & Michael Sackett bought less than an acre for $23,000 near Priest Lake, Idaho to build a home. They received all necessary permits and began construction.
EPA officials showed up one day and ordered construction to halt. And to restore the land to its original condition. Claiming the property was a wetlands area. It isn't. It's not even on the EPA's own list of wetlands.
That the Sackett's lot is amongst existing homes in a subdivision that already has water and sewer hook-ups was meaningless to the EPA. But the EPA refused to reconsider its decision. And the agency fined the Sacketts. $37,500. A day.
The Sacketts currently owe more than $40 million in fines.The Sacketts filed a lawsuit. A federal judge [Edward J. Lodge - appointed by President George H. W. Bush] ruled that the couple has no right to challenge the EPA decision and fines. This is a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment which guarantees "due process of law."
The Sacketts appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit ruled EPA actions are immune from judicial review.
[This is completely absurd. But in keeping with the Ninth Circuit's notorious reputation for making up law and ignoring the Constitution.]
Fortunately, the Supreme Court will now hear the case.
However, the underlying problems continue. Government is too big. And too powerful. And activist judges only add to the problem.
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