Are wetlands subject to federal jurisdiction?

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According to the SCOTUS blogOpens in a new tab., Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency will address the limited question, “Whether the Ninth Circuit set forth the proper test for determining whether wetlands are “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, 33 U. S. C. §1362(7).”

Numerous briefs have been filed already, with a continuance granted on the merits.  On February 4, “a joint motion to extend the time to file the briefs on the merits granted. The time to file the joint appendix and petitioners’ brief on the merits is extended to and including April 11, 2022. The time to file respondents’ brief on the merits is extended to and including June 10, 2022.”

As characterized by Greg Walcher of CompleteColorado.comOpens in a new tab., the Waters of the U.S. case has been tumultuous.  For western states, “the historic doctrine – reinforced many times over the past century – [is] that water belongs to, and is controlled by, the states. The exception to that fundamental principle is the Clean Water Act, which created federal authority to regulate ‘navigable waters of the U.S.,’ meaning major rivers, bays, inter-coastal waterways, and oceans, which involve interstate commerce.”

The Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the Clean Water Act, maintains a website specifically concerning Waters of the U.SOpens in a new tab..





Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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