SCOTUS to Hear Sackett Arguments Oct. 3

Environmentalists, Lawmakers Stand Behind EPA on Sackett Case Before Supreme Court


By Todd Neeley, DTN/Progressive Farmer



LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Oct. 3 in a Clean Water Act case that could have a broad effect on which waters are considered jurisdictional.


Additionally, this week, nine amicus briefs were filed in Sackett v EPA in support of the agency's position.


At the end of April, numerous agriculture groups, members of Congress, businesses, legal foundations and others filed amicus briefs in support of Idaho property owners Michael and Chantell Sackett.


On Oct. 3, the Supreme Court will consider a very narrow question regarding the reach of the Clean Water Act: Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco used the proper legal test for determining whether wetlands are waters of the U.S.


In particular, the Sacketts have asked the Supreme Court to consider whether the so-called "significant nexus" test is the right method used when it comes to wetlands.


Waterkeeper Alliance Inc., San Francisco Baykeeper and Bayou City Waterkeeper argue in a brief this week the Clean Water Act's definition of wetlands should stay in place.


"There is no need in this case to reach out beyond the question presented, and there are good reasons to keep the holding limited to the category of wetlands at issue here: those adjacent to both a traditional navigable water and a jurisdictional non-navigable tributary to a traditional navigable water," the groups argue.


"Our nation's waters form diverse aquatic ecosystems that can't be reduced to a one-size-fits-all test."


In particular, the groups argue waters are so complex as to require federal control...