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Obama’s ‘Waters of the United States’ EPA Rule Declared Unconstitutional by the Courts

The Obama legacy is getting dismantled rapidly by the courts and the Trump administration.

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Former President Barack Obama’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule abridged state sovereignty and constituted a federal grab of natural resources on an unprecedented scale when it was issued in 2015, but it may be no more following a federal judge’s ruling.

U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood granted a substantial victory to the 10 states that challenged the rule in the courts. Godbey claimed that the rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Clean Water Act and was therefore unconstitutional.

“The court finds that both because of its combination with tributaries and the selection of over-broad geographic limits without showing a significant nexus, the adjacent waters definition in the WOTUS rule is unlawful under Justice Kennedy’s Rapanos opinion,” Wood wrote.

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Wood noted that the rule was issued in direct violation of states’ rights, as the Obama administration flagrantly disregarded the constitutional balance of powers.

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“Most importantly, that significant increase in jurisdiction takes land and water falling traditionally under the states’ authority and transfers them to federal authority,” Wood wrote.

“In light of this significant intrusion on traditional state authority, the CWA still contains the policy language of recognizing traditional state power in this area, and Congress has not made any clear or manifest statement to authorize intrusion into that traditional state power since Rapanos,” she added.

Wood suggested that the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency could do additional work on the measure in order to make it compliant with the law. In the age of President Donald Trump, that may not be happening for quite some time.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is very pleased with the court ruling.

“The court ruling is clear affirmation of exactly what we have been saying for the past five years,” AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen said. “The EPA badly misread Supreme Court precedent. It encroached on the traditional powers of the states and simply ignored basic principles of the Administrative Procedure Act when it issued this unlawful regulation.”

Republican Senators have introduced a bill called the “Define WOTUS Act,” to take the power out of the hands of federal bureaucrats by defining the term through legislation.

“The Obama-era WOTUS rule threatened Iowa’s farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses by giving the federal government authority to regulate water on 97 percent of land in our state,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), who is a co-sponsor of the legislation with Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN).

“President Trump and his administration have taken tremendous steps to roll back this far-reaching regulation and provide for more certainty with a new, clearer definition of WOTUS. But it’s the job of Congress to make a new, reasonable definition permanent, and that’s what this bill does—it ensures more predictability and workability for Iowans for years to come,” she added.

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett Recently Approved Democrat COVID-19 Lockdown Policies

Her decision should raise some eyebrows.

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett has emerged as the choice of Conservative Twitter to be the successor on the Supreme Court to replace deceased former justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday after many bouts of cancer.

However, Barrett’s record is troubling on many issues, with a ruling that gives Democrats in Illinois blanket authority to shut down society based on COVID-19 mass hysteria standing out as particularly heinous.

Barrett concurred with the majority in Illinois Republican Party et al. v. J.B. Pritzker, Governor of Illinois to keep the illegal lockdown in place and allow Democrats to rip up the Constitution under the guise of safety. She hid behind the precedent of Jacobsen v. Massachusetts (1905) in an attempt to avoid culpability for her decision.

“At least at this stage of the pandemic, Jacobson takes off the table any general challenge to [Pritzker’s executive order] based on the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection of liberty,” the majority opinion read in the case.

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It continued: “[W]hile in the face of a pandemic the Governor of Illinois was not compelled to make a special dispensation for religious activities, see Elim, nothing in the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment barred him from doing so. As in the cases reconciling the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses, all that the Governor did was to limit to a certain degree the burden on religious exercise that [the governor’s executive order] imposed.”

While Barrett rolls over to the far left and allows Democrats to rip up the Constitution, other judges are actually living up to their oath, such as the Trump-appointed District Judge in Pennsylvania, William S. Stickman.

In his ruling, Stickman refused to hide behind precedent to allow the constitution to be destroyed by Democrats. He effectively deep-sixed Pennsylvania’s lockdown and obliterated the abominable Jacobson decision.

He wrote: “Jacobson was decided over a century ago. Since that time, there has been substantial development of federal constitutional law in the area of civil liberties… That century of development has seen the creation of tiered levels of scrutiny for constitutional claims. They did not exist when Jacobson was decided. […]”

“The Court shares the concerns expressed by Justice Alito… and believes that an extraordinarily deferential standard based on Jacobson is not appropriate,” Stickman added.

Patriotic attorney Robert Barnes has levied additional criticism against Barrett for her unwillingness to stand up to Democrat overreach.

“For example, Barrett, I would oppose her nomination personally. So I would do whatever I can to see her nomination fail. I have no interest in seeing someone like that on the bench,” Barnes explained during an interview on the Viva Frei YouTube channel.

“She comes from the old money corporate South, a world I’m familiar with and the kind of people I’d never want to see in positions of power… That’s the world she comes from. Her dad was a big Shell oil corporate lawyer,” he continued.

Barnes explained how Barrett’s history working as a Clerk for deceased former Justice Antonin Scalia is giving the false impression that she shares his staunch originalist beliefs when that is not in fact the case. He explained that her rise is similar to that of Chief Justice John Roberts, whose record of extreme cowardice on the bench has harmed the nation immeasurably.

“This is how Justice Roberts got on the bench. You do two things if you’re on the Republican side of the aisle: You let people know that you believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned even if you don’t believe that… And you play the corporate side of the equation,” he said.

“But most importantly, you get that Justice and his extended intellectual heavyweights to lobby for you to be appointed to the judicial bench down the road… That’s why people are pushing Barrett,” Barnes added.

Barnes highlighted some of Barrett’s worst decisions in a blistering Twitter thread.

 

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