High-Speed Rail Opponents Seek California Supreme Court Review – Press Conference on September 2 in San Francisco
HIGH-SPEED RAIL OPPONENTS SEEK CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT REVIEW
Attorneys challenging the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s bond funding will hold a press conference on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 to explain the petitions they are filing with the California Supreme Court. Michael Brady and Stuart Flashman, representing John Tos, Aaron Fukuda and Kings County, will offer copies of the Petition for Review they plan to file that morning.
Here’s the location, time, and date of the press conference:Sidewalk in front of the California Supreme Court Building
350 McAllister Street, San Francisco
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 10:30 AM
In addition, Harold Johnson of the Pacific Legal Foundation will discuss the petition he will be filing on behalf of the First Free Will Baptist Church in Bakersfield. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association will also be represented at the press conference, barring scheduling difficulties.
The petitions ask the Supreme Court to review the Third District Court of Appeal decision overturning two trial rulings that had hamstrung Californiaʼs High-Speed Rail project. The Appellate Court ruled that “The Legislature appropriated the bond proceeds based on the preliminary funding plan, however deficient, and there is no present duty to redo the plan.”
The Court also held that no evidence was needed to show that it was “necessary or desirable” to issue bonds, reversing the trial court ruling that had prevented the sale of bonds and effectively erasing that provision from the ballot measure. Plaintiff’s lead counsel, Michael Brady, says “The Authority is now on life support; it has been granted a stay of execution by the Court of Appeal. This filing seeks to lift that stay.”
Stuart Flashman, co-counsel adds, “The Court of Appeal ruling overturns longstanding precedents in the interpretation of bond measures. If these decisions stand, voters will lose trust in future bond measures.”
Harold Johnson of the Pacific Legal Foundation says “The High Speed Rail project must be fully transparent and fully faithful to the law. Evading accountability can’t be allowed on one of the most expensive public works projects in U.S. history.”
The Tos Petition for Review will be available on the morning of September 2, at the bottom of the TRANSDEF web page, along with all documents from these two cases. Three other claims in the Tos case are still pending in the trial court.
The Tos v. California High-Speed Rail Authority case was brought by a farmer, a rural homeowner and Kings County. It asked the Court to block the Authority from using bond funds because the project failed to meet the ballot measureʼs requirements.
In November 2013, Judge Michael Kenny ruled that the High-Speed Rail Authorityʼs Funding Plan failed to properly certify, as the bond measure required, that all needed environmental clearances had been obtained and that sufficient funding was available to complete the Merced-to-San-Fernando-Valley segment of the project.
In California High-Speed Rail Authority et al. v. All Persons Interested et al., Judge Kennyʼs ruling blocked the issuance of bonds because of another failure to satisfy bond measure requirements.