The high court’s decision will have significant implications. The main question before the court is whether the Sacketts may seek pre-enforcement judicial review of the EPA’s administrative compliance order pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U. S. C. § 704).
If not, then does this refusal violate their civil rights under the Due Process clause?
Although it is not a focus of this case, there is another issue that ought to be addressed. It is the overreach of the Environmental Protection Agency, which issues thousands of compliance orders each year to businesses and individuals. The EPA relies on authority derived from a very vague law: the Clean Water Act. The Sackett’s Supreme Court brief captures the vagueness of the Clean Water Act and the EPA’s unwarranted power grab:
The Clean Water Act casts a nationwide regulatory net that snags individual citizens doing ordinary, everyday activities. Unlike other environmental statutes, the Clean Water Act is not directed toward a certain field of activity where those involved would be expected to know the applicable regulations. Any citizen engaged in a range of activities may run afoul of the Act.
Oral arguments are slated for January 9, 2012.