Center, Texas - Yesterday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concurred with two Texas Supreme Court rulings that a provision in the Texas Open Beaches Act which allows the public beach to move with erosion, known as a rolling easement, is in violation of private property rights. Once again, the rights of Texas landowners has been upheld by the courts' ruling, which further illustrates that there is no legal authority in Texas for a public easement to "roll" inland after a sudden natural calamity, and any attempt by the State to claim property using such argument constitutes an unreasonable seizure.
Rep. Wayne Christian has long been a critic of improper interpretations of the Texas Open Beaches Act, because it allows for the State of Texas to seize a landowner's property without consent and just compensation. During the 81st legislative session, Rep. Christian supported legislation that protected the property of hundreds of hurricane victims after the coast was devastated by Hurricane Ike.
"It was like the Trans-Texas Corridor all over again," said Christian, "only this time, it was worse because landowners were devastated by a natural disaster and that were going to be further injured by their government and given zero compensation for the loss of their property."
The legislation addressed a claim by the state that after the hurricane any property beyond the natural vegetation line (wherever that turned out to be) had become public property and thus could be seized as such without any financial compensation or input from the owner.
This legislation has recently been a focal point for a series of attack ads put out by Texans for Responsible Government, a deceptively-named PAC created for the specific purpose of opposing Wayne Christian by special interests groups in Austin. The ads claim that Wayne Christian has "sponsored legislation that benefits himself" because he was one of the 125 landowners that was threatened by the state to have their property seized in the wake of Hurricane Ike. However, Wayne Christian has consistently fought to protect the property rights of any landowners across Texas who may face the injustice of having their land arbitrarily deemed as public property. He always stands ready on behalf of Texas property owners to take up that battle again wherever the threat against private property rights may appear.
As President of the Texas Conservative Coalition, he successfully led in the fight to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor, protecting the property of countless East Texans, and he led the fight to prevent the state of Texas from leveraging a natural disaster as an excuse for a land grab along the Texas coast. Rep. Christian has and always will stand up to big government for the rights of property owners across the state.
Rep. Wayne Christian's Additional Comments:
"It is amazing to me that Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson continues to disregard the constitutional rights of landowners and believes that he, as Big Brother Government, can grab land without compensation. Commissioner Patterson stills stands today against the will of the Legislature, the Executive, the Texas Supreme and federal courts who have stood beside me defending private property owners.
Please understand that Commissioner Patterson has stated he is trying to defeat not only me, but also the five Texas Supreme Court Justices who ruled on behalf of property owners. We call that being a sore loser. It is humbling that a common man in the legislature like myself could stand against the overreach of the Texas Land Commission. Let me repeat to Commissioner Patterson what I have said to others, East Texas is not for sale. Well I guess if it were up to him, he wouldn't pay anything for it."