WOTUS ruling: private property rights win at SCOTUS

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 4:54 PM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2023 at 11:10 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Private property rights got a big win Thursday at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court sided with landowners in Sackett v. EPA, essentially determining that millions of acres of private property are exempt from regulation by the EPA. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court says the Environmental Protection Agency overextended its powers.

Senator John Hoeven says this is a win for farmers, ranchers, the energy industry and all property owners in North Dakota.

“This decision says there must be a continuous surface connection to federal waters for a body of water to be a ‘water of the U.S.’ So, it pushes back on the Biden administration’s overreach,” said Senator John Hoeven, R-North Dakota.

While this is being heralded as a win by Republicans — including Senators Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, Representative Kelly Armstrong and Governor Doug Burgum — the court’s three liberal justices warned this limits the EPA’s ability to combat climate change. Senator Cramer says that’s a good thing.

“I think the liberal justices are exactly right and good for the Supreme Court. Because the EPA isn’t supposed to have that kind of power. They weren’t granted that kind of power by the Congress of the U.S. What they’re refereeing is the constitutional authority of the EPA vs. the Constitutional authority of the Congress to write laws,” said Senator Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota.

Although there was disagreement about the outcome, the Supreme Court unanimously said the EPA mistreated the couple who brought the lawsuit.