Two months ago the Supreme Court allowed a lawsuit challenging an EPA wetlands determination to proceed under the Administrative Procedure Act, ruling against the federal government’s claim that further action was required before such a lawsuit. See Sackett v Environmental Protection Agency, 566 U.S. ___ (2012). On June 18, 2012, the Court again ruled against the federal government, 8-1, and held that another lawsuit challenging federal agency action could proceed pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act in keeping with Congressional intent to make agency action presumptively reviewable. In Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak, the Court held that Mr. Patchak had prudential standing to challenge an action by the United States to divest title to land acquired by the Secretary of the Interior in trust for the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians to use for a casino. The Court also found that the Quiet Title Act did not bar Mr. Patchak’s suit even though he did not have a claim of ownership to the land at issue and was challenging the governmental ownership of land pursuant to a different statute. This decision may be of interest to anyone contemplating a challenge to federal agency action.
For full text of the Supreme Court’s decision, please visit this site.