Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Sackett v. U.S. EPA

Jun 28: The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Ninth Circuit case of Sackett v. U.S. EPA (SupCt docket No. 10-1062). The High Court included the specific proviso that the review will be limited to the following questions: (1) May petitioners seek pre-enforcement judicial review of the administrative compliance order pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U. S. C. §704? (2) If not, does petitioners' inability to seek pre-enforcement judicial review of the administrative compliance order violate their rights under the Due Process Clause?
    On September 20, 2010, the Ninth Circuit decided the case regarding the determination of whether Federal courts have subject-matter jurisdiction to conduct review of administrative compliance orders issued by the U.S. EPA under the Clean Water Act (CWA) before EPA has filed a lawsuit in Federal court to enforce the compliance order. The Appeals Court said, "We join our sister circuits and hold that the Clean Water Act precludes pre-enforcement judicial review of administrative compliance orders, and that such preclusion does not violate due process."
    In making its ruling, the Appeals Court indicated that, ". . .we do not work from a blank slate. Every circuit that has confronted this issue has held that the "CWA impliedly precludes judicial review of compliance orders until the EPA brings an enforcement action in federal district court." The Appeals Court cited cases from the 10th, 6th, 4th, and 7th Circuits and many Districts and said, "The reasoning of these courts is persuasive to us, as well as the broad uniformity of consensus on this issue."
    Access the Supreme Court docket (click here). Access the order granting the petition (click here). Access the complete 9th Circuit opinion (click here). [*Water]

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