January 15, 2010
On December 2, 2009, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In this case the Florida Supreme Court rejected a takings challenge to Florida state legislation directing restoration of storm-eroded beaches along the ocean or lake shores but specifying that Florida owns a portion of the restored beaches. The Florida court premised its ruling on the proposition that the littoral landowners did not have a preexisting exclusive property right to contact with the water from their land. The question on certiorari is whether this was a misreading of Florida's property law that constitutes a "judicial taking" of the littoral owners' property rights in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
To discuss the case, we have the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Director of Litigation, James S. Burling.