High Speed Rail Opponents Appeal to California Supreme Court

Recall that recent 'great news' for the embattled High Speed Rail Authority? The appeals court ruling breathed new life into the $68 billion project as it released the lower court's hold on $9.95 billion in bond funds. Opponents are not deterred.

2 minute read

August 13, 2014, 11:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

The Kings County Board of Supervisors, one of three plaintiffs in the court case against the California High Speed Rail Authority that the Appeals Court three-judge panel decided on July 31, "unanimously voted at least week's meeting to approve a Supreme Court appeal," writes Tim Sheehan of The Fresno Bee. The other litigants agreed as well.

"Essentially, there is much at stake for Kings County and for all taxpayers so it is worth the added effort to make sure the opinion is correct and, if not, get it corrected," Kings County Counsel Colleen Carlson said.

By my counting, we may expect the appeals court to decide on the requisite petition by the end of this month, and if they deny it, from the Supreme court by my mid-November.

As Sheehan notes, this will not be the first time the Supreme Court rules on the case. In January, we noted that Gov. Jerry Brown appealed the devastating November Sacramento Superior Court decision directly to the Supreme Court which denied the request in April, sending it to the 3rd District Court of Appeal.
In case you haven't been keeping track of the remaining litigation, Sheehan writes that "(i)n addition to its lawsuit challenging the $68 billion plan for a high-speed passenger train line connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco by way of the San Joaquin Valley, Kings County has filed one of six lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act challenging the rail authority's environmental certification and route approval in May for the Fresno-Bakersfield section of the rail system."
Joining the county in its CEQA challenge are the Kings County Farm Bureau and Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability, a grass-roots opposition group of which Fukuda is a co-chairman.
Is it any wonder that a recent New York Times article profiled how President Obama's vision for "high speed rail is inching along"?
Putting a positive spin on the 800-mile San Francisco to Los Angeles project's seemingly never-ending lawsuits and appeals, Jeff Morales [PDF], executive director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, observed, "The Golden Gate Bridge was tied up for years in hundreds of lawsuits. We haven’t had quite that many.”

Monday, August 11, 2014 in The Fresno Bee

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