Court Should Prevent Use of Prop. 9 to Take Beach

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‘Editor’s note: Tomorrow at the Texas Supreme Court, PLF Principal Attorney J. David Breemer will argue the important property rights case, Severance v. Patterson. At issue: A state policy that confiscates private beachfront property, without reimbursing the owners, when storms or wind move or destroy the beach vegetation line. PLF attorneys represent a property owner who is challenging this abridgement of fundamental rights. Here is an oped he wrote about the case for the Houston Chronicle and the Pacific Legal Foundation.’

Beach access is good. And there is nothing wrong with trying to protect it, as Texans voted to do by enacting a new constitutional amendment, Proposition 9, on Tuesday.


The danger is that state officials will misuse Proposition 9 as a device not to ensure existing beach access rights, but to destroy private property rights. In a case to be heard later this month, the Texas Supreme Court will be asked, in effect, to prevent the state from twisting Proposition 9 in this way.

At issue is state officials’ strange embrace of a rolling beach