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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Universal Destination Of Earthly Goods

Here in California, there will always be a little tension between the uber-wealthy property owners who reside alongside the state's beautiful coastal beaches and the dirty common people who desire to have access to them. It's the perennial tension between private property rights and the universal destination of earthly goods.

In Michigan, that tension has recently been resolved in favor of the latter. In a case that hearkens back to Professor Bromberg's Property class at Ave Maria School of Law, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that residents of Michigan have a right to walk on, and otherwise use, all of Michigan's Great Lakes shoreline up to the "ordinary high-water mark." Now the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to grant certioari. One attorney for the property owners noted: "For most property owners, this ruling won't mean any dramatic changes. But some will abuse this ability to stroll the lakefront. They'll build campfires and lug beer and ice with them and you'll have a lot of people traipsing through."

Get ready Michiganders. Here come the dirty common people.