Capitol Alert: Brown asks Supreme Court to intervene on high-speed rail

dsiders@sacbee.comJanuary 24, 2014 

The Brown administration, which previously downplayed the significance of court rulings against California's $68 billion high-speed rail project, asked the California Supreme Court to intervene on Friday, saying the rulings "imperil" the project, threatening state and federal funding.

The request to the California Supreme Court comes after a Sacramento Superior Court judge in November ordered the state to rescind its original funding plan for the project. The lower court ruled the California High-Speed Rail Authority failed to comply with provisions of Proposition 1A, the initiative in which voters approved initial funding for the project in 2008.

The administration said in a request for expedited review that "the trial court's approach to these issues cripples government's ability to function" and could have implications for other infrastructure projects.

The state argues the normal appeals process could take years to resolve and is "not a real choice."

"Since the project's inception, opponents of high-speed rail have tried to block its construction," the filing said. "Now, two rulings of the Sacramento Superior Court - which are otherwise unreviewable as a practical matter - imperil the project by erecting obstacles found nowhere in the voter-approved bond act."

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