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Strange, Byrne and McMillan Applaud Supreme Court Ruling

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday May 31, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of property owner rights to appeal to the courts in disputes with the federal government over water. The state of Alabama was one of the parties that sued the Obama Administration.

Attorney General Luther Strange hailed victories for the State of Alabama in two decisions released Tuesday by the US Supreme Court. The High Court unanimously ruled today in favor of strengthening private property rights in water disputes with the federal government. In a separate case, the justices unanimously upheld the right of State criminal courts to reject certain claims defendants previously chose not to raise on appeal.

Attorney General Strange (R) said, “Alabama was on the winning side in two major cases before the US Supreme Court today.” Attorney General Strange praised the Supreme Court’s decision to strengthen the rights of property owners in water disputes with the federal government.

AG Strange said, “The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of property owners’ rights to immediately challenge in court US Army Corps of Engineers’ declarations that their property is subject to the Clean Water Act. This property rights defense is even more important with the threat of an expansion of federal jurisdiction under the EPA’s Waters of the US rule.”

Alabama was one of 23 states to file an amicus brief in support of the right of property owners in the case US Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes.

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said in a statement, “The Supreme Court has once against unanimously ruled against the Obama Administration. That means that even members of the court appointed by President Obama disagree with his position. This ruling is a good victory for those of us concerned with overregulation, but it is just a start.”

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Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan said, “This is a tremendous victory for individual rights and private property owners.”

The other decision was also unanimous. In its unanimous per curiam decision, the Supreme Court observed, “A State’s procedural rules are of vital importance to the orderly administration of its criminal courts; when a federal court permits them to be readily evaded, it undermines the criminal justice system.”

In September, Alabama and 17 other states petitioned the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for a nationwide stay of the EPA’s controversial Waters of the US rule, which was subsequently granted by the court on October 9. The US Sixth Circuit Court is currently hearing the nationwide challenge to the rule.


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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