WEATHER KATRINAFor all practical purposes, it was like a day at the beach for the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices considered Florida’s program to bring in sand to save miles of eroding shorelines.

A lawyer for six homeowners in Florida’s Walton County argued the program resulted in a strip of state-owned sand between their property and the Gulf of Mexico, depriving them of their exclusive beach access and violating their rights.

The homeowners want the state to pay them undetermined compensation for the “taking” of their property. But some of the court’s liberals appeared skeptical of the argument.

“You didn’t lose anything,” Justice Stephen Breyer told D. Kent Safriet, the attorney arguing for the homeowners. “You didn’t lose one inch. All you lost was the right to touch the water.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked whether any other homeowners had objected to the program.