Saturday, July 28, 2007

Whatcom County wall squabble reaches beyond the border

Shirley Ann and Herbert Leu built a retaining wall in their backyard in Blaine, and now they're in federal court over it. David Browermaster, Whatcom County wall squabble reaches beyond the border, Seattle Times, July 26, 2007.

How does a backyard wall end up in federal court?

The International Boundary Commissionwanted them to take the wall down because it allegedly violates a 20-foot "boundary vista." Dennis Schornack, the U.S. member of the IBC informed them. They brought suit.

And then things got complicated. The State Department and the Justice Department told Schornack to hire outside counsel, then DOJ told him it would handle the case and he should discharge the outside counsel and settle. Schornack didn't want to settle, so President Bush fired him and tried to appoint a new commissioner. But can he do that? The old commissioner says no. speaking of replacing federal officials, one of the attorneys on Schornack's team is fired U.S. Attorney John McKay.

Judge Marsha Pechman heard arguments on Wednesday.

Photo: Tina Ching.

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