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Landowners Win at U.S. Supreme Court in Wetlands-Development Case

  • Court’s conservatives say case shows government overreach
  • Unanimous decision may streamline federal approval process
A March 12, 2015, photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.

A March 12, 2015, photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.

Photographer: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
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The U.S. Supreme Court gave landowners a new avenue to challenge some federal regulatory decisions affecting their property rights, in a case that three conservative justices said raised troubling questions about government overreach.

The 8-0 ruling said landowners can go straight to court after federal regulators decide that a piece of property containing wetlands is covered by the Clean Water Act. The ruling is a blow to the Obama administration and a victory for property-rights activists, potentially streamlining the approval process for people and companies seeking to develop wetlands.