Environmentalists have filed a lawsuit alleging that the closure of a public beach for SpaceX launches violates the Texas Constitution.
The lawsuit filed by SaveRGC, the Sierra Club and Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe was heard by the 455th District Court yesterday in Brownsville, Texas on Wednesday.
Interestingly, SpaceX is not named as a party in the suit. Instead, the group is suing the Texas General Land Office, Cameron County and Land Commissioner George P. Bush, but it would obviously have implications for the aerospace company.
The lawsuit alleges that the repeated closures of Boca Chica Beach violates the 1959 Texas Open Beaches Act. The Act guarantees the public’s right to free and unrestricted access to public beaches along the Gulf Coast.
The plaintiff’s lawyer stated this in court:
Here we’re talking about open beach access. These members of the Sierra Club and SaveRGV have recreational interests. They have all visited and relied upon their ability to visit the beach throughout decades, years, some for their entire lives as they are from this area. So they are impacted by the frequent beach closures. (via WRIC)
While lawyers for the defendants note that the Act does not create a private right of enforcement. Further to this, they argue that the lawsuit is not a viable constitutional challenge.
The Judge will rule on if the court has jurisdiction over the case on or before June 30.