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Bostic v. United States

ELR Citation: 14 ELR 20279
Nos. No. 83-139-CIV-4, 581 F. Supp. 254/(E.D.N.C., 01/31/1984)

The court rules that the congressional designation of plaintiffs' land as a coastal barrier ineligible for flood control insurance is rationally related to the purposes of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA). First, the court holds that enactment of the CBRA moots any challenge to a coastal barrier designation made by the Secretary of the Interior prior to enactment of CBRA. As is clear from CBRA's legislative history, the designations in CBRA §4 supersede all designations by the Secretary. Although Congress relied heavily on the designations and maps developed by the Secretary in fashioning the CBRA designations, the congressional designations resulted from independent congressional judgment and the court must review them solely as acts of Congress. Next, the court holds that the CBRA designations do not deny plaintiffs due process. It rules that §3 of CBRA, which defines a coastal barrier, is informational only and therefore plaintiffs cannot rely on this section in arguing that their land has been improperly classified. Finally, the court holds that the designations of areas as coastal barriers in §4 are rationally justified. Congress' designation criteria were rationally related to CBRA's goals, and Congress' application of its criteria to plaintiffs' lands was not so devoid of reason as to require court intervention.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Jim Proctor
P.O. Box 476, Trenton NC 28585
(919) 448-2791

Robert D. Sokolove
Kornblut & Sokolove
5028 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 100, Washington DC 20016
(202) 686-2895

Counsel for Defendant
Gary H. Clemmons, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 26897, Raleigh NC 27611
(919) 755-4530