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Attorney General Bill Lockyer Issues Statement in Response to Coastal Commission Court Decision

Monday, December 30, 2002
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today issued the following statement in response to the Third District Court of Appeal decision in Marine Forests Society v. California Coastal Commission:

"My office is currently reviewing the court's decision. The court's ruling does not become final until 30 days after the decision is issued, therefore it is not presently binding on any other courts in California. Over the next several weeks, we will confer with our clients and make an official determination on whether to ask the California Supreme Court to review the decision. I believe it is extremely likely that we will seek Supreme Court review.

While today's ruling calls the Coastal Commission's structure into question based on the doctrine of separation of powers, it is appropriate to remember the motives and the facts which prompted this litigation. The plaintiffs brought this lawsuit not to make sure the Commission is appropriately constructed, but instead to overturn a decision which prevents them from pursuing a private business venture off California's coast. Despite their belief that the Commission made the wrong decision by opposing their project, the plaintiffs were not able to persuade a court to agree with their position. The plaintiffs have not asked for a re-constituted commission, they want coastal protection decommissioned.

For nearly 30 years the Coastal Commission has worked to fairly and even-handedly protect the public trust by ensuring responsible stewardship of our 1,100 mile coastline. No matter the outcome of this litigation, we can not afford to abandon the responsibility to protect California today and for future generations."

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