California Coastal Commission Ruled Unconstitutional

A California appellate court held today that, because the majority of the Coastal Commission's members are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the legislature, it cannot perform executive or quasi-judicial functions without violating the State Constitution's separation of powers clause. Thus, the Commission is enjoined from "granting, denying, or conditioning permits, and from issuing and hearing cease and desist orders" -- all things it habitually did. (The case is called Marine Forests Society v. Cal. Coastal Commission.)

The Coastal Commission is a hugely powerful and thoroughly politicized body. If I'm not mistaken, this is Big News in California. You can read the Third Appellate District's opinion here (PDF). UPDATE: Here's an article about the Court's ruling.