The Georgia Supreme Court has rejected Camden County’s attempt to overturn a 2022 referendum that partially rejected its plans to build a spaceport.

Why it matters: The ruling prohibits the county from purchasing a parcel of land for the proposal. Without the legal path to purchase it, the prospects of the spaceport remain unclear.

Driving the news: In a ruling Tuesday, justices said they were unanimously “unpersuaded” by the county’s “warnings about the potential consequences of allowing the electorate to amend or repeal ordinances, resolutions, or regulations.”

Catch up quick: After a successful petition campaign to trigger a referendum, 72% of county voters rejected Camden’s intention to purchase the property needed for the spaceport last March. The county challenged the validity of the referendum, which brought them to the state supreme court.

The big picture: After more than a decade of controversy amid environmental and economic concerns (which accelerated after plans to launch over Cumberland Island National Seashore became clear in 2015), the county secured a spaceport operator license in December from the Federal Aviation Administration.

  • The county has spent more than $10 million on the plan.