Tuesday, July 31, 2007

S.C. Supreme Court issues Constitutional Standing Opinion

In Smiley v. SCDHEC, DHEC’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) issued a permit to periodically excavate sand from the public intertidal beach at the Isle of Palms, if and when erosion occurs, and to transport the sand to Wild Dunes’ private property. Smiley challenged the permit, arguing that he takes exercise on the beach in front of his house because of a spinal cord injury and that the intrusion of heavy equipment into the public beach and the consequent excavation of sand from the intertidal zone would make it impossible to jog on the beach in the affected area. The Court of Appeals held that there was no standing because there was not actual or imminent harm inasmuch as no excavation had occurred. The Supreme Court reversed.

The Court noted that no sand need to have been moved yet for there to be an injury. The Court of appeals had essentially erased "imminent" from the "actual and imminent" requirement of Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife.

No comments: