From The Volokh Conspiracy:
The Supreme Court today issued a unanimous decision in favor of the property owners in the important case of Sackett v. EPA... Justice Alito’s concurring opinion includes a particularly clear description of what was at stake:The position taken in this case by the Federal Government—a position that the Court now squarely rejects—would have put the property rights of ordinary Americans entirely at the mercy of Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) employees.
The reach of the Clean Water Act is notoriously unclear. Any piece of land that is wet at least part of the year is in danger of being classified by EPA employees as wetlands covered by the Act, and according to the Federal Government, if property owners begin to construct a home on a lot that the agency thinks possesses the requisite wetness, the property owners are at the agency’s mercy. The EPA may issue a compliance order demanding that the owners cease construction, engage in expensive remedial measures, and abandon any use of the property. If the owners do not do the EPA’s bidding, they may be fined up to $75,000 per day ($37,500 for violating the Act and another $37,500 for violating the compliance order). And if the owners want their day in court to show that their lot does not include covered wetlands, well, as a practical matter, that is just too bad. Until the EPA sues them, they are blocked from access to the courts, and the EPA may wait as long as it wants before deciding to sue. By that time, the potential fines may easily have reached the millions. In a nation that values due process, not to mention private property, such treatment is unthinkable.
While it is heartening to see none of the Supremes could sign off on this situation, it is still disturbing that the position of the Obama Administration, and thus the Democratic party as a whole, was in favor of unfettered power for the Federal Government without even the option of judicial review.
It's indefensible because it is tyrannical, and until the Democratic party accepts the notion that Washington needs to have some (any) limits on its power, even in its pursuit of Democratically anointed goals, they are a non-starter for me.