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Common Sense Alliance is Alive and Well!
At long last, it is time for a Common Sense Alliance (CSA) progress report! The CSA lawsuit contesting San Juan County’s (SJC) Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) continues to progress through the courts. Suffice it to say that the past several months have been a test of our patience as we have awaited rulings at each level: The Growth Hearings Board, the San Juan County Superior Court, the State Court of Appeals, and the State Supreme Court. The case was denied in each jurisdiction, setting the stage for CSA’s next major step.
Here’s the big news: On May 10, the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari (review) with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). We learned this week that San Juan County has waived their response to the Petition and we anticipate that SCOTUS will decide later this spring or in the fall whether or not to hear our case. If they decide in our favor, a date will most likely be set a year later. CSA remains hopeful. A more detailed story can be found on the CSA website and the CSA Press Release attached at the bottom of this newsletter.
Recent PLF successes for property owners: Last week, some members of our board had the opportunity to hear M. Reed Hopper, principal attorney in PLF’s Environmental Law Practice Group, speak on PLF’s recent SCOTUS victories for property owners. Mr. Hopper oversees PLF’s Clean Water Act Project that targets illegal federal regulation of wetlands and other waters. You can visit the PLF blog to read about these victories.
Changes in CSA Representation: In September 2015, attorney Brian Hodges, Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), replaced Sandy Mackie, Perkins Coie Law Firm, who withdrew as the attorney for CSA after three years of excellent service. Then, in February 2016, Sandy retired.
In April, Brian Hodges, left the Pacific Legal Foundation to pursue private practice with Dennis Reynolds. You may recall, that Dennis was the first attorney to advise and represent the CSA. We are indebted to Dennis, Sandy and Brian for having built a thorough legal record upon which CSA has been able to move through the courts.
We are pleased to say, that Brian left CSA in good hands with the legal team at the Pacific Legal Foundation. He will continue his work defending property owners as he represents the Kitsap Alliance for Property Rights v. Kitsap County, which is a case similar to the CSA case.
Please understand that the CSA board remains committed to our mission. We continue to meet monthly as we look for ways to educate county citizens of their right to use their land and to defend our precious freedoms.
Fortunately, at this time, we are not burdened with legal fees as we pursue this next monumental step with the SCOTUS. Please recall that the Pacific Legal Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which depends entirely upon contributions from citizens throughout the United States who believe in PLF’s ardent defense of the Constitution.
If you wish to help the CSA cause, as well as contribute to the mission of the PLF, you may donate directly to the Pacific Legal Foundation. Please do not send funds to CSA that you intend for the PLF. CSA cannot pass your donation along to them. However, if you send funds to PLF, you may mention that your donation is on behalf of PLF’s representation of the Common Sense Alliance effort before the U.S Supreme Court. The PLF address is as follows:
Pacific Legal Foundation
Attn: Jim Katzinski
10940 NE 33rd Place
Bellevue, WA 98004
Most of all, we want to express our sincere “thanks” to each of you, as we would not have had this opportunity to make a difference for San Juan County and all Washington State property owners without your steadfast support.
Finally, If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact CSA at this email address email@example.com.
Ed Kilduff, President
Board of Common Sense Alliance