October 22, 2014
In law, sometimes not saying anything can be as powerful as taking a position.
This was the case last week when the California Supreme Court decided not to hear the appeal filed by Central Valley opponents which challenged the 68-billion dollar project.
Though it is neither the first nor last action underway that is against the project, authorities with the project say that it allows them to move beyond the preliminary stage and begin construction on the initial 130-mile section of the Central Valley track.
Opposition says that the action rested upon fighting a decision that by an appellate court stating that the authority met requirements outlined by an approved 2008 ballot allocating 8 billion dollars to the project. The ballot required authorities of the project to identify funding and obtain environmental clearances prior to fund disbursal.
According to Sacramento County Supreme Court Judge Michael Kenny, neither of those provisions had been met.
The appeal court has ruled that two plans are necessary for funding, and that at least one of them must be met before it is to carry-on. The first was mostly a way for to assist the Legislature in determining if they should begin appropriating funds. This plan did not necessarily need to meet all voter-approved factors.
The second plan is yet to be completed, and should require stricter rules than the voter approved measures.
Parties appealing to the Supreme Court shared their disappointment that the case would not be heard.
Aaron Fukuda, a landowner who was one of the challengers to the project, said “This is a sad day for the voters of California…Our Supreme Court has decided that one of the largest bond issuances in the state does not deserve an insightful discussion to make sure we are on the right track.”
Stuart Flashman, an attorney speaking on behalf of the plaintiffs, says additional suits are proceeding which challenge other aspects of the project, such as station locations, the speed of the train and one of the greatest selling points of the project; that it could offer a 2 hour and 40 minute travel time from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Additionally, parties in favor of the project were quick to offer assent to the courts.
Dan Richard, the board chairman for the agency, said “this decision reaffirms that the authority can continue building a modern high-speed rail system that connects the state, creates jobs and complies with the law…we will continue to move forward aggressively to deliver the nation’s first high-speed rail system.”
Attorney John Rosenbaum is an Orange County workers compensation and personal injury veteran with over 3 decades working in the field. If you’re in need of legal services in Orange County, John is the man to see.