The California Supreme Court today declined to hear several petitions for review relating to the High Speed Rail project, including Pacific Legal Foundation’s (PLF’s) petition opposing the sale of $8.6 billion in California High-Speed Rail bonds. PLF represents, free of charge, the First Free Will Baptist Church of Bakersfield in this litigation.
PLF issued this statement in response to today’s announcement:
“This is a disappointing development for the interests of California taxpayers and for the cause of integrity and common sense in government,” said PLF attorney Harold Johnson. “The appellate court said that the High Speed Rail project is still in ‘flux’ so it’s too soon to judge whether it conforms with what voters authorized when they passed Proposition 1A in 2008. But the appellate court also ordered that $8.6 billion in bonds for the project be approved by the judiciary, so the bonds can be sold. That’s a self-contradictory ruling, and it now stands, because the Supreme Court has declined to review it. This means that billions of dollars in bonds can be sold, right now, even before we know what the money will be spent on, and even before we know if the final shape of the High Speed Rail project is true to the voters’ will and the state Constitution’s requirements. In other words, more than $8 billion will be borrowed on the taxpayers’ credit card, for what amounts to a pig in the poke. That’s bad public policy, and I believe it’s wrong as a matter of constitutional law.”