The California Supreme Court, which had been asked by Gov. Jerry Brown's administration to intervene in litigation challenging California's high-speed rail project, referred the case to a lower court Wednesday and ordered its expedited review.
The court transferred the case to the 3rd District Court of Appeal and ordered both sides to submit filings by Feb. 10.
The action comes after a Sacramento Superior Court judge in November ordered the California High-Speed Rail Authority to rescind its original funding plan for the $68 billion project. The court found the plan failed to comply with provisions of Proposition 1A, the initiative in which voters approved the project in 2008.
The Brown administration said in an appeal to the Supreme Court on Friday that lower court rulings "imperil" the project, threatening state and federal funding.
The troubled project is proposed to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco. The project has been delayed, with state officials now hoping to begin construction in the Central Valley this year.