Posted by: Ann Corcoran | September 25, 2011

Supreme Court to hear important property rights case

Here is a disturbing story about EPA and a “regulatory taking” of an Idaho couples property at World Net Daily this past week:

Just imagine. You want to build a home, so you buy a $23,000 piece of land in a residential subdivision in your hometown and get started. The government then tells you to stop, threatens you with $40 million in fines and is not kidding.

That’s the case now before the U.S. Supreme Court, with briefs being filed today by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of a Priest Lake, Idaho, family, Chantell and Mike Sackett.

Attorney Damien Schiff, who will be arguing before the high court in the case, said it’s simply a case of a government run amok, and it poses a potential threat to perhaps not every landowner across the nation, but untold millions.

The Sacketts, Schiff said, “bought property, and the government in effect has ordered them to treat the property like a public park.”

“The EPA has not paid them a dime for that privilege,” he said. “The regime we have operating now allows the EPA to take property without having to pay for it, or giving the owners the right to their day in court.””

The fact that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case is a big deal!

Read it all, it is a very important legal test of how far the government can go to take your property rights and could very well apply to you here in Maryland some day (it already has!).

The wetland issue raises its ugly head again!   A Maryland citizen, Bill Ellen, was sentenced to prison in the early 1990’s when he supposedly filled a wetland without permission.  In August I mentioned in a post about Richard Miniter, now a columnist at Forbes, that he had chronicled the Ellen Clean Water Act case at that time:

I met Richard Miniter in the early 1990’s when he was one of the only writers willing to report on the Property Rights Movement that had grown up almost overnight in the late ’80s and early ’90s over the ever- increasing regulatory reach of the federal government known as ‘regulatory takings’ and some real ‘takings’ too.  Richard was friends with Peggy Reigle the founder of the FLOC (Fairness to Landowners Committee) in Cambridge, MD.  Ms. Reigle had come to the defense of those being harassed in Maryland , and later elsewhere across the country, over the controversial Wetlands regulations of the EPA/Army Corps of Engineers.  Here and here are two of Miniter’s reports on property rights abuses with quotes in the second piece from FLOC leader Reigle.

It’s important that you read Miniter’s articles especially the first one I linked, here, for the historical background on the travesty of justice visited on Marylander Bill Ellen.

By the way, the FLOC is no longer in existence but someone sure needs to get a Maryland grassroots property rights group going again as the Agenda 21/Plan Maryland steam engine is headed our way.

Learn more about Agenda 21 and Plan Maryland by attending the Maryland Conservative Action Network Conference on October 29th where Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild will give a presentation on the issue.  Hurry!  Less than a week to register at the reduced rate!


Responses

  1. Based on the last decision they made concerning property rights, I refer to the New Hampshire Eminent Domain case, where the supreme court found it OK for the state to take private property away from private citizens and then give that land to private developers to develope (which, incidentally, never happened.)
    I am not optimistic.

    • Greg, I share your concern. You are referring to the Kelo case involving Connecticut land I believe—-in my view one of the worst decisions of some very bad ones by the supremes.


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