People line up to visit U.S. Supreme Court after split 4-4 decision in first major case after Scalia death in Washington

Supreme Court sympathetic to property owner over water permits

People line up to visit U.S. Supreme Court after split 4-4 decision in first major case after Scalia death in WashingtonBy Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared likely to rule that property owners can challenge the federal government in court when they are told they need sometimes costly permits required under a national water protection law. During a one-hour oral argument, the majority of the eight justices appeared sympathetic toward Hawkes Co Inc, which is fighting an Obama administration finding that it needs a permit to open a peat mine in Minnesota. Whether a particular plot of land falls under the jurisdiction of the landmark 1972 U.S. Clean Water Act is of major importance to developers and other property owners because a finding that it does triggers a lengthy and expensive permitting process.

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