Florida bureaucrats say it was perfectly legal for them to ask a landowner near Orlando to cough up as much as $150,000 to help them preserve distant wetlands.
But a lawyer fighting them told the Supreme Court Tuesday that the move was a clear and unconstitutional case of government using its permitting power to shake down a U.S. citizen.
The Supreme Court case, Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, could affect the rights of every property owner in America who needs a government permit.
The case began when Coy Koontz Sr. bought 15 acres of property near Orlando, dreaming that its development would someday finance his retirement.
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