California Supreme Court Moves High-Speed Rail Request to Court of Appeal

The California Supreme Court ordered the Third District Court of Appeal to undertake an expedited review of two trial court rulings concerning the financing plan for California’s High-Speed Rail project, by transferring the state’s petition for writ of mandate to the lower court. The petition was filed by the state in late January asking the Supreme Court to step in and prevent the two recent lower court rulings from derailing construction of the High-Speed Rail project.  According to the state, the challenged trial court rulings “cast a cloud of uncertainty” over the project and put at risk billions of dollars in federal grants. The state sent a direct request to the California Supreme Court because the normal appeals process, it claimed, would take too long given the time-sensitive nature of the project and its funding.

Although it declined to consider the petition directly, the Supreme Court recognized that the petition should be a priority and decided expeditiously by the Court of Appeal. The transfer order directed the appellate court to “expedite its consideration of this matter” and set an expedited briefing schedule for the parties.

Further information on the previous trial court rulings and the state’s petition to the California Supreme Court can be found in our previous blog post here.