Sackett v. EPA
566 U.S. ___ (2012)

Annotate this Case

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

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No. 10–1062

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Chantell Sackett, et vir, PETITIONERS v. Envi- ronmental Protection Agency, et al.

on writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit

[March 21, 2012]

     Justice Ginsburg, concurring.

     Faced with an EPA administrative compliance order threatening tens of thousands of dollars in civil penalties per day, the Sacketts sued “to contest the jurisdictional bases for the order.” Brief for Petitioners 9. “As a logical prerequisite to the issuance of the challenged compliance order,” the Sacketts contend, “EPA had to determine that it has regulatory authority over [our] property.” Id., at 54–55. The Court holds that the Sacketts may immediately litigate their jurisdictional challenge in federal court. I agree, for the Agency has ruled definitively on that question. Whether the Sacketts could challenge not only the EPA’s authority to regulate their land under the Clean Water Act, but also, at this pre-enforcement stage, the terms and conditions of the compliance order, is a question today’s opinion does not reach out to resolve. Not raised by the Sacketts here, the question remains open for another day and case. On that understanding, I join the Court’s opinion.

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