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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No One Wants To Invest in CA HSR!

No One Wants To Invest in CA HSR! 10/16/15 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The California High-Speed Rail Authority put out a Request for Expressions of Interest in building, operating and financing the HSR project. The FAQ provides cost estimates and assumes Cap and Trade revenues of $500 million per year through 2050. CHSRA’s list of responders. The 36 replies that came back said, in effect, “No thank you. We will need a guarantee of revenue before we will be willing to do that.” See the Los Angeles Times coverage. Because an operating subsidy is prohibited by Proposition 1A, that means that the proposed HSR system cannot be built. It also means the project should not be in construction…

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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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Supreme Court Turns Us Down

Supreme Court Turns Us Down 10/15/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail In a very disappointing decision, the California Supreme Court today denied the Petitions for Review by the Tos petitioners, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the First Free Will Baptist Church on the Third Circuit High Speed Rail rulings in a case titled California High-Speed Rail Authority v. Superior Court. Stuart Flashman, counsel for the Tos petitioners, said, “My clients are obviously extremely disappointed in this decision. The Court of Appeal’s decision, which the Supreme Court has now let stand, means voters can no longer trust promises made in bond measures or tax measures.” Michael Brady, lead counsel for the Tos petitioners, said “The Court…

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CHSRA Declares Independence from CEQA

CHSRA Declares Independence from CEQA 10/09/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail In a move that screams desperation, the California High-Speed Rail Authority filed a petition with the federal Surface Transportation Board for a declaratory order that would prevent any California court from issuing an injunction to stop the construction of the Fresno-Bakersfield portion of the project. CHSRA wants to hide behind federal preemption. See this page. By running to the feds for protection, CHSRA has told the world it cannot and will not play by California rules. In an earlier move seeking to protect its claim to federal preemption of environmental laws, CHSRA asked the Supreme Court to depublish the appellate decision in Town of Atherton…

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Supreme Court Hears from Far and Wide

Supreme Court Hears from Far and Wide 10/03/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail After receiving an Answer from the California High-Speed Rail Authority, petitioners for review filed their replies. A large group of distinguished organizations, elected officials and governmental entities filed amicus curiae letters with the Supreme Court, requesting that it review the HSR cases. See this page. Tags: HSR Litigation

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CHSRA Tries to Ditch CEQA

CHSRA Tries to Ditch CEQA 09/22/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail After losing part of an appellate decision, the California High-Speed Rail Authority filed a request with the California Supreme Court today, asking it to depublish the 7/31/14 ruling. That would mean no other court could consider the ruling to be precedent, thereby making it easier to argue that CEQA doesn’t apply to railroad projects that are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Surface Transportation Board. All the papers are posted at the bottom of this page. Tags: HSR Litigation, CEQA, Preemption

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Wall Street Journal Editorial on HSR Case

Wall Street Journal Editorial on HSR Case 09/13/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail In a stunning editorial entitled California’s Democratic Derailment, the Wall Street Journal calls upon the California Supreme Court to save democracy by overturning the appellate decision that declared the CHSRA’s violation of Proposition 1A unenforceable: The Wall Street Journal/ Opinion, Sept. 13, 2014)   California’s Democratic Derailment Politicians ignore the legal caveats that voters added to the bullet train   In theory at least, courts and ballot referenda are checks on legislative tyranny. A California appellate court has effectively done away with both by ruling that the legal…

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HSR Opponents Seek Supreme Court Review

HSR Opponents Seek Supreme Court Review 09/02/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Attorneys challenging the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s bond funding presented a press conference today to explain the petition they filed  or will be filing with the California Supreme Court. 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 had 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…

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