Hoeven: Supreme Court's Unanimous Decision on Wetlands Upholds Private Property Rights

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling that the individuals can challenge the Army Corps of Engineers’ determination that costly permits are required for certain activities on private property. The court ruled unanimously against the government in the, Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co. Inc., a North Dakota-based peat mining company. The State of North Dakota and 27 other States filed briefs in opposition to the Corps:

“The highest court in the land today has put the brakes on yet another Obama administration plan to exceed its regulatory authority. In a unanimous 8-0 vote, the court said there is no requirement for property owners to either risk a heavy fine or go through an arduous Clean Water Act permitting process before challenging whether the Army Corps of Engineers can compel them to apply for a permit in the first place.

“This is more important than ever because the Administration continues to attempt to expand the regulatory jurisdiction of the Waters of the U.S. and today’s decision will enable impacted landowners to challenge the Corps’ determination of a wetland. This is important because the court has now made clear that landowners have a right to contest those decisions in court before, rather than after, incurring harm from the regulation.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court adds force and substance to the suit by the states that the administration is exceeding its authority to regulate the use of private property without the consent of Congress.”