Big-government socialism claimed another victim days ago, leaving an elderly widow to carry on a cause for basic individual rights that were crushed under the tyranny of the federal EPA.
Joe Robertson, 80, is survived by his wife, and he served with distinction in the U.S. Navy before retiring to the big-sky country of Montana, staying busy with supplying critical water for state firefighters.
It was this business that federal EPA thugs targeted and destroyed on the fraudulent grounds that several ponds on Robertson land created a disturbance to a tiny babbling brook that bureaucrats in Washington DC classified as a navigable waterway.
Oh, the irony. The retired navy man did not see the brook as navigable.
Robertson neglected to obtain a permit, so Robertson must be destroyed, was the moniker the EPA operated by, using the oft destructive Clean Water Act.
Through an extensive and arduous legal struggle that involved the Pacific Legal Foundation, the EPA pursued the matter to an 18-month sentence on Robertson’s back that he served.
The EPA also slapped a $130,000 restitution fine on the Robertson family that syphoned their Social Security benefits for good.
Little more than a year after his release, the rouged and imposing mountain of a man, navy veteran and partner to area firefighters passed because of what his widow Carri described as natural causes.
Imprisonment and an ongoing case seeking his life and legacy didn’t help, surely, and passing away under the shadow of a 20-month active probation order is an insult this veteran did not deserve.
According to PLF attorneys, the case suffered because of unclear rulings at the level of the U.S. Supreme Court.
A PLF statement reads, “Whether this conviction was lawful depends on the definition of ‘navigable waters.’ In Rapanos v. US (a PLF case), the Court sought to define the scope of the Clean Water Act. The Court split on a 4-1-4 vote.”
Pacific Legal Foundation statement
The PLF has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Robertson’s conviction
So the EPA thugs wing it on the broad interpretation that Justice Kennedy favored, while Justice Scalia’s moderating of federal jurisdiction is ignored, though equally expressed by the Court.
Under Scalia’s plurality opinion, “Robertson would have been found not guilty, if charged at all,” the PLF stated, “since [Robertson’s] ponds are more than 40 miles away from the river, and do not abut lakes or streams.”
The PLF is pursuing a new Supreme Court review of the case, and attorneys are active processing papers in the sad routine to transfer the case to the name of Carri Robertson as petitioner.
“The PLF has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Robertson’s conviction,” they stated.
The Supreme Court is expected to decide this month whether it will hear the Robertson case’s appeal.