District courts awarded jurisdiction for WOTUS challenges

BISMARCK, N.D. – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that challenges to the 2015 waters of the United States (WOTUS) definition belong in federal district courts, not federal appeals courts.

In June 2015, North Dakota filed suit in U.S. District Court along with a dozen other states to block the rule from taking effect and was granted an injunction in late August of that year.

“I applaud the Supreme Court’s ruling, which confirms North Dakota’s position that federal district courts have the right to hear these challenges,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “The 2015 definition was an overreach of authority and significantly expanded federal control of land and water resources.”

Goehring said that as part of the prairie pothole region, North Dakota would have been affected tremendously by the 2015 definition.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has announced that he plans to ask the federal district court to resume North Dakota’s case as soon as possible in order to obtain a final ruling.