In hopefully the final blow to the California High-Speed Rail Authority and their monumentally expensive and ludicrous Bullet Train, Judge Michael Kenny has ruled the State can not issue bonds to pay for the Browndoggle.
The Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail, based in the Bay Area, has been doing a great job of following the Browndoggle and the maneuverings of the Governor and the CAHSR Board for some time.
Published this afternoon, here’s news on Judge Michael Kenny’s recent ruling against the Bullet Train. In part, from their email newsletter:
This ruling is tremendously encouraging. However Judge Kenny has not yet decided what the Authority must do as a result. That decision will be made in the remedy phase of the trial. The next hearing in the case has now been set for November 8th, and a ruling on that date could literally stop the current project “in its tracks.”
One issue to be debated on November 8th is the scope of the court’s power to dictate action to the legislature, since the separation of powers doctrine doesn’t allow the judiciary to tell the legislature what to do, such as ordering that the legislature invalidate their vote to allocate bond funds to finance the project. However, it may not be necessary for the court to order this appropriation vote invalid. Simply ordering the Authority to not spend the appropriated money could be sufficient. According to attorney Stuart Flashman, regardless of the separation of power doctrine, “the court does have the power to say an action that the legislature took is invalid.” The court may very well direct the Authority not to spend the money or in fact obligate funds.
Their complete analysis is here. We’re getting more confident that this horrid waste of tax money will be dead on its yet-to-be-built tracks before the next election. At that time, Jerry Brown will have to answer for this financial atrocity which will have been a huge failure and stain on his administration.