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Bad News for Huckabee on His Private Beach

Emergency motion denied, and judge signals lawsuit won't fare much better
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2020 12:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Mike Huckabee still can't go to the beach. The former Arkansas governor and other owners of beachfront property near Pensacola, Florida, sued for access to their private beaches, but on Monday, a federal judge denied their emergency motion, NBC News reports. It would have exempted the plaintiffs from the Walton County order that shut down all public and private beaches, giving waterfront property owners access as their lawsuit works its way through the courts, the Walton Sun reports. But the judge said public health superseded the homeowners' desire to utilize their beaches.

"The primary public interest here is you don’t put people in an area where they can be exposed to COVID-19," he said. "This case boils down to the definition of what is the beach. ... To anyone looking at the beach, sometimes you can’t tell where the beach really ends. Where does the beach end? That is the gray area I think we are really concerned with." The plaintiffs' lawyers needed to convince the judge the lawsuit was likely to win in order for the emergency injunction to be put into place, and they did not—the judge signaled the full suit is not likely to go their way, either. The Hill notes Huckabee's Gulf of Mexico seafront property is worth about $3.3 million. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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