A hovercraft can take you just about anywhere – even to the U.S. Supreme Court.
There are places, however, where a hovercraft cannot take you … places such as every national park in the United States, where the National Park Service forbids hovercraft use. This ban is at the heart of the first hovercraft case in history to come before the Supreme Court. Sturgeon v. Masica, et al. will be heard next Wednesday, January 20 … and the final verdict could affect you personally.
This video helps explain what is at stake in this lawsuit filed against the National Park Service by John Sturgeon of Anchorage, Alaska, a long-time member of the Hoverclub of America …
Sturgeon v. Masica, et al. is about much more than one man and his hovercraft, or even about only one state. There is a possibility that the Supreme Court’s decision could have a nationwide impact and be of great significance to all hovercraft owners.
The case asserts that navigable waters on federal land are state-owned, and that federal land regulations - such as the ban on hovercraft in national parks – infringe upon state sovereignty in a way that exceeds the constitutional powers of Congress. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Sturgeon, it could apply that ruling to Alaska only, or it could apply the ruling to the entire United States. That means this case could possibly lead to fewer restrictions on your hovercraft use.
That’s why we encourage you to help John with his case, because it could be your case, too. The lawsuit has been in the lower courts for several years, and so far John has personally footed most of the $300,000+ bill. This is a 100% public interest lawsuit, which means if the Court decides in John’s favor, he won’t win money or anything else. He’s fighting strictly for the rights of the public – your rights.
But justice does not come cheap. Warren Olson, Chairman of Trustees of the Alaska Outdoor Council, one of the many organizations supporting John Sturgeon, explains, “$450,000 is the standard cost to appear before the Supreme Court. We’re promoting the cost of a “tank of gas” so John can go to Washington D.C. It’s amazing that boat owners throughout the entire nation with serious investments in outdoor equipment have to go to the “boiler room” to chip in for a “tank of gas.”
All of us at Neoteric urge you to click the button below and make a tax deductible donation to this important cause – one that could affect your hovercraft use in the future.
The Supreme Court decision on Sturgeon v. Masica, et al.
will be handed down this summer. Until then, follow our blog
and visit the Neoteric website for new developments.