It’s ‘David’ Over ‘Goliath’ in High Court Property Fight

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(Photo credit: CNN)

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

The Supreme Court gave an Idaho couple another chance Wednesday to challenge a government ruling barring construction of their “dream house,” an important property rights defeat for the Obama administration.

The justices unanimously ruled Chantell and Mike Sackett can appeal a compliance order that said wetlands on the two-thirds-acre residential lot were improperly filled with rocks and dirt. A building permit was subsequently revoked.

“Since the agency’s decision was final and since the Sacketts have no other adequate remedy in a court, they may bring their suit” under federal law, said Justice Antonin Scalia.

The couple’s supporters had billed this as “David vs. Goliath” fight against the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We’re here to stand up for the property rights and the constitutional rights of all Americans,” Mike Sackett told CNN in January, when the case was argued at the high court. “We felt blindsided by the EPA, and we remain determined to fight.”

The case is Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (10-1062).

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