Just before the 2022 midterm elections, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) began its fall term on Oct. 3 by hearing oral arguments for the over-10-year-old case, Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency.

Coming off a landmark term this past spring, the Supreme Court is gearing up for another big decision that could drastically change what bodies of water are defined as “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) and therefore protected by the federal Clean Water Act.

(1) comment

Dr. Vladtheimp

Seriously? I understand that a non-degreed major in “multi-media journalism” who identifies as an attorney and environmental activist may be unfamiliar with legal concepts that have endured from England over centuries to our own adoption of common law.

Nonetheless, having included in my ancient law degree a concentrated course on Admiralty Law, including such foreign concepts of navigable waters, maintenance and cure, and the old time curse of “Admirals of the Windward Passage,” I can assure Ms. Multi-media journalist in training that the term ‘navigable waters’ has always been defined as able to be navigated for commerce.

That’s the reason so many rivers are only navigable to the Fall Line, another foreign geographical concept in this enlightened age.

I can assure her that nothing in the Clean Water Act changes the common law explicitly – otherwise it wouldn’t have passed the Legislature. The Obama and Trump administrations tinkered with the definition of “Waters of the United States”, which was the weasel-wording of the Clean Water Act to avoid the centuries old definition of Navigable Waters, but the Supreme Court is likely to restore sanity to the extent the Federal Government can control State and Private Property.

Lake Michigan, Spring Lake, and other feeders are navigable and thus subject to Federal control until they can’t be navigated; some water intermittently on our residential and agricultural land is not.

The State of Michigan, as all States, is supremely competent to protect our water resources, even under Whitmer and Nessel – we don’t need federal bureaucrats in far away Washington to tell us what to do to protect our water resources.

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