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California high court declares coastline commission constitutional

[JURIST] The California Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that the membership configuration of the California Coastal Commission's [official website] does not violate the separation of powers clause of the state's constitution. Four of the commissioners are appointed by the governor while the remaining eight are selected by the state legislature. The commission, created in 1972 and locked in as a permanent body by the California Coastal Act [text] of 1976, regulates coastal development, conservation, and public access [CCC responsibilities backgrounder]. Opponents of the commission are among the state's real estate developers and waterfront property owners who say the group's decisions are too environmentally-based and hinders private property rights. The case before the state's high court arose when the commission ordered the Marine Forests Society [official website] to stop constructing a Newport Beach underwater reef. AP has more.

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