From our private database of 33,800+ case briefs...
United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc.
United States Supreme Court
576 U.S. 1129, 136 S.Ct. 1807, 195 L.Ed.2d 77 (2016)
Three companies (plaintiffs) mined peat in Minnesota. The plaintiffs also owned a 530-acre parcel near their existing mining operations. The plaintiffs requested a permit under the Clean Water Act to discharge certain material into navigable waters at disposal sites. As part of the permitting process, the plaintiffs requested a determination from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) (defendant) regarding the presence of “waters of the United States” on their parcel. The Corps made this determination through a jurisdictional determination (JD) on a case-by-case basis. An approved JD definitively stated the presence or absence of such waters and, under the regulations, constituted a Corps final agency action. Through a memorandum of agreement, an approved JD was binding for five years on both the Corps and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If no waters of the United States were present, then no permit was required. The Corps advised the plaintiffs that the permitting process could take years to complete and would be very expensive. After reviewing the plaintiffs’ information, the Corps issued an approved JD, determining that the property contained waters of the United States because of a nexus to the Red River of the North, approximately 120 miles from the property. The plaintiffs administratively appealed the determination, which was affirmed. The plaintiffs then filed a petition for judicial review in federal court. The trial court determined that the approved JD was not a final agency action subject to judicial review. The plaintiffs appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which reversed. The Corps petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, C.J.)
Concurrence (Ginsburg, J.)
Concurrence (Kagan, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 604,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 604,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,800 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.