Organizations looking to overturn the EPA’s and the Army Corps’ Waters of the U.S. Rule (WOTUS) want the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether or not the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is the right venue to hear challenges to the rule. The Sixth Circuit Court earlier dismissed legal challenges that said Federal District Court is the right place to hear the challenges instead of the appeals court. The petition was not filed based on the merits of the case, but rather based on jurisdiction challenges that repeatedly come up during challenges to Clean Water Act actions. “Now is the time for the Supreme Court to resolve the confusion among lower courts as to where jurisdiction lies,” said Ellen Steen, General Counsel for the American Farm Bureau Federation. “That way, the AFBF and other organizations can stop wasting their time and resources arguing with the federal government over where to file these challenges.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.
Industry Groups Ask High Court to Review Clean Water Rule Appeal Venue
Organizations seeking to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ expansive “waters of the U.S.” rule are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether the 6th Circuit Court is the appropriate court to hear challenges to the rule. The 6th Circuit earlier dismissed arguments that legal challenges to the rule should be brought first in federal district court and not courts of appeal.
“This petition to the Supreme Court is not related to the merits of our case and we are confident that eventually the 6th Circuit and the Supreme Court will agree that the rule is unlawful,” said Ellen Steen, General Counsel of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “The petition was filed because the jurisdiction question is one that repeatedly arises in challenges to Clean Water Act actions. The time is ripe for the Supreme Court to resolve confusion among lower courts as to where jurisdiction lies, so that the American Farm Bureau Federation and others can stop wasting time and resources arguing with the federal government over where to file these important legal challenges.”
Federal courts of appeals are divided on how to interpret a provision of the Clean Water Act mandating that certain types of legal challenges be filed directly to courts of appeals. When pressed to decide this question, the 3-judge panel of the 6th Circuit issued three separate opinions with only a single judge concluding that jurisdiction was lawfully in that court, making this question ripe for clarification by the Supreme Court.