New HSR Briefs Filed
11/05/13 Filed in: High-Speed Rail
A Reply Brief by the HSR Authority was filed in the Validation Suit, prior to the hearing held on September 27. Validation briefs are available here. The Authority asserted at the very last moment in the Atherton appeal that the Surface Transportation Board’s assertion of jurisdiction over the HSR project has resulted in the federal preemption of CEQA. The Authority is asking that the appeal be dismissed, because it claims that CEQA cannot be enforced. These claims have led to the filing of amicus briefs by prominent environmental organizations. Briefs in the Atherton appeal are available here.
A series of briefs were filed in the Tos case which dealt with proposed remedies for the violation of the requirements of Proposition 1A. Plaintiffs have asked that funds for the HSR project be shut off by the Court. Amicus briefs supported that proposal. The Authority’s Opposition Brief in effect claimed that no remedy was needed or even possible, as the construction contracts under way would be fully paid for using federal funds. Plaintiffs filed a devastating Reply Brief which proved that most of the federal funds could not even be used for the two contracts. It must have been extremely embarrassing for the HSR Authority.
A fascinating legal battle ensued, as the Authority asked the Court to strike the parts of the Reply Brief that rebutted its Opposition arguments. This seemed like a desperate step by the Attorney General to get out of the mess they are in. Plaintiffs filed a vigorous Objection, claiming the Authority had failed to follow the Rules of Court. This was followed by an Objection by the Authority.
The Tos briefs are available here,
A hearing on remedies will be held in Sacramento on November 8 at 9 am.