Supreme Court deals Biden's Green agenda a huge blow: Justices block environmental POWER GRAB
The U.S. handed 's 'Green agenda' a huge blow on Thursday after justices blocked a power grab by the country's environmental regulator. Judges ruled the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had wrongly issued a diktat to an couple in forcing them to halt the building of their dream lakeside family home. EPA pen-pushers told Michael and Chantell Sackett their property, some 300 feet from Priest Lake, could not be built on what they called protected wetlands. They also threatened to impose massive fines of more than $40,000 a day for any violations of U.S. federal environmental law if they ignored their orders. 'The wetlands on the Sackett property are distinguishable from any possibly covered waters,' he wrote, because they are not directly connected to them. Alito wrote protected wetlands must have a 'continuous surface connection with that water, making it difficult to determine where the water ends and the wetland begins.' He argued that the EPA's interpretation was too broad, too difficult to enforce and too 'precarious' for property owners. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett backed Alito's opinion, while the four other justices disagreed with his ruling. Justice Elena Kagan, a liberal, lamented how it would hobble the EPA's ability to combat climate change. 'The vice in both instances is the same: the Court's appointment of itself as the national decision-maker on environmental policy,' she wrote, joined by fellow liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson. The ruling will be a boost to farmers, home builders and other developers who will find it easier to get a building permit. Damien Schiff, a lawyer for the Sacketts, said the ruling would 'return the scope of the Clean Water Act to its original and proper limits.' He said it was 'a profound win for property rights and the constitutional separation of powers.' West Virginia GOP Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he was 'pleased the Supreme Court ruled in a way that state lands and waters are less subject to the whims of unelected bureaucrats.' Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican representing Iowa, also praised the ruling. 'The federal government has no authority to impose blanket jurisdiction over puddles, waters, and wetlands with vague, overreaching regulations on behalf of Biden's ever-changing climate agenda,' she said. And the commander-in-chief issued a thinly-veiled threat that his administration would look for loopholes in the ruling so officials could ignore it. the court's conservative majority to restrict the EPA's authority to curb emissions from power plants. The fight over what constitutes a wetland has raged for decades, with both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administration issuing rules on the subject.