Allies Challenge AB 1899’s Constitutionality

Allies Challenge AB 1899’s Constitutionality 01/31/17 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Five individuals, three non-profit organizations, the Town of Atherton and Kings County amended their lawsuit today, seeking a ruling that the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (CHSRA) efforts to obtain construction funding from a voter-approved bond measure violate the state constitution. The case is the second one filed as Tos v. California High-Speed Rail Authority, or Tos II. Legal papers are available here. The Third District Court of Appeal had previously ruled that Prop. 1A, the 2008 $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond measure, created a “financial straitjacket” restricting the use of the bond funds. Plaintiffs allege in their suit that the Legislature’s passage of…

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Multiple Groups File Opposition to AB 1899

Multiple Groups File Opposition to AB 1899 06/27/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Today, a group of organizations have united in a letter opposing AB 1889, the attempted grab of Prop. 1A bond funds. They are: TRANSDEF, the Train Riders Association of California, Preserve Our Heritage, Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability and the  Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail. In an attempt to evade the requirements of Proposition 1A, the HSR Bond Act, Caltrain has sponsored AB 1889. The bill would give CHSRA full discretion to declare that a rail corridor or segment is HSR-ready. This is a big deal for Caltrain, because its electrification project cannot qualify for $700+ million in…

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Caltrain Electrification Suit Fully Briefed

Caltrain Electrification Suit Fully Briefed 05/23/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Transportation Planning The challenge to Caltrain’s Electrification EIR is now fully briefed. (See bottom of page.) Petitioners assert that the electrification project is really the first phase of the HSR Blended System on the Peninsula, making the EIR an impermissibly chopped study of the project’s overall impacts. A hearing has been scheduled for 9 AM, September 2, 2016 in Contra Costa Superior Court. Tags: HSR Litigation, CEQA, Caltrain

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CEQA Preemption Appeal Fully Briefed

CEQA Preemption Appeal Fully Briefed 05/18/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The appeal of the CEQA Preemption Order by the federal Surface Transportation Board for California HSR is now fully briefed. Oral argument has not yet been scheduled. The briefs are all posted on the STB page. Tags: CEQA, Preemption, HSR Litigation, STB

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Press Coverage of HSR Hearing

Press Coverage of HSR Hearing 02/15/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The hearing on the Tos Part II challenge to CHSRA compliance with the requirements of Proposition 1A was held on February 11, 2016. For a listing of the press generated by the hearing, see the bottom of this page. Tags: HSR Litigation

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High-Speed Rail Dragged Back to Court

High-Speed Rail Dragged Back to Court 02/06/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The California High-Speed Rail Authority, along with the Governor, the State Treasurer, State Controller and others are back in Department 31 of the Sacramento Superior Court on Thursday, February 11 at 9:00 am. They are fighting a motion by the Tos plaintiffs for an injunction that would shut off all funding for the construction of the current HSR project. A full description of the case, along with the briefs, is available here. Tags: HSR Litigation

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Opening Brief Filed in STB Appeal

Opening Brief Filed in STB Appeal 12/07/15 Filed in: High-Speed Rail TRANSDEF and its allies Kings County, Kings County Farm Bureau, California Citizens for High-Speed Rail Accountability, Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail, California Rail Foundation, and Dignity Health today filed the Opening Brief in their appeal of the federal Surface Transportation Board’s Declaratory Order. That decision eliminated the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s need to comply with CEQA, due to the STB’s assertion of federal preemption of all federal, state, and local regulations pertaining to interstate railroads. See the Briefs. Tags: HSR Litigation, CEQA, Preemption, STB

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Taxpayer Challenge to High-Speed Rail Files Devastating Brief

Taxpayer Challenge to High-Speed Rail Files Devastating Brief 11/16/15 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The legal team challenging the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s compliance with the 2008 Proposition 1A High-Speed Rail Bond Measure filed a supplemental brief today. It explains the legal significance of a secret document recently uncovered by the Los Angeles Times. The Authority had resisted releasing it. Pressure from the State Assembly Republican Caucus and several Republican congressmen eventually forced the Authority to make it public. After the Authority capitulated, the court allowed the plaintiffs to file a supplemental brief. Plaintiff Aaron Fukuda said “We hope this brief puts a stake in the heart of this boondoggle. The Authority’s goal line defense to keep…

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CHSRA Releases Blockbuster Document

CHSRA Releases Blockbuster Document 11/03/15 Filed in: High-Speed Rail News broke late Tuesday that the HSR document reported on by the Los Angeles Times  has been released by CHSRA. Editorials in the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune called it out as a red flag for the HSR project. See the Taxpayer Lawsuit for further details on how this affects the challenge to CHSRA. Tags: HSR Litigation

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TRANSDEF Files STB Challenge

TRANSDEF Files STB Challenge 02/09/15 Filed in: High-Speed Rail In the second of two lawsuits filed today, TRANSDEF joined a coalition of non-profits and Central Valley county governments to challenge the decision of the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) preempting the application of CEQA to California’s HSR project. In what we consider to be a shocking use of state power, the California Attorney General has previously sought to eliminate the application of CEQA to the state’s HSR project. On October 9, 2014 the CHSRA petitioned the STB to block California courts from issuing injunctions that could stop construction of the…

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