The Supreme Court today decided in favor of the timber industry in a case about the regulation of muddy waters that flow off logging roads. In a surprising move, one of the court’s conservative justices dissented, and sided with the environmentalists.
Environmental groups in Oregon filed the case.
They argued that muddy water flowing from ditches into forest streams, harms fish, and should be considered industrial pollution.
In a 7-1 decision the Court said it would defer to the Environmental Protection Agency’s read of the law.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a case from Oregon over water pollution from logging roads. But a last minute rule change may have made the case moot.
Attorneys involved in the case say that at 5 pm last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new rule trying to clarify that the runoff from logging roads should not be considered industrial pollution.
The U-S Supreme Court’s decision to uphold universal health care has triggered a lot of reaction from politicians and analysts. Idaho was one of the first states to join the lawsuit to strike down the law.
Ted Epperly has been involved in the debate over health care, testifying before Congress and speaking across the country about the need for reform measures. The Boise-based family physician served as the President of the American Academy of Family Physicians and met with President Obama six times to offer his views about health care.
The United States Supreme Court Monday rejected Montana’s challenge to Citizen’s United, the decision that removed limits on corporate spending in political campaigns. Montana argued its state laws gave it the right to limit political spending. Idaho was one of several states that filed friend of the court briefs to support its neighbor’s position. Bob Cooper with the Idaho Attorney General’s office says the AG was not speaking against Citizen’s United, simply supporting states’ rights.
The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. is hearing arguments on the Affordable Care Act. One of the main questions is whether the government can force people to buy health insurance.
U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) opposes the law. He suggests an alternative way to fund health care. "Rather than having the government pay for the health care," Crapo says. " The government could utilize the same resources to subsidize access to health insurance for those who are truly in need."
Mike and Chantell Sackett imagine a rustic, three-bedroom A-frame, with views of Priest Lake and the rugged landscape that surrounds it. But the EPA told them in 2007 that because their plot is designated as a wetland, they could face steep fines for building.
The coupled hired engineers who dispute that finding. But they never had a chance to argue that point. In an interview last fall, Chantell Sackett said the case comes down to this exchange with a EPA manager.
"I said, 'So, why would I stop building my house? She said, 'Because we told you to.'"
A north Idaho couple is celebrating a major legal victory at the nation's highest court. Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Mike and Chantell Sackett have the right to challenge a decision by federal regulators that their property is a protected wetland.