Ninth Circuit to hear rail case - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ninth Circuit to hear rail case

Cliff Slater Cliff Slater

Heading into Thursday's hearing before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, proponents and opponents of the city's $5.3 billion rail system expressed confidence in their positions.

"We look forward to presenting our case and responding to any questions the judges may have," said Dan Grabauskas, CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

"It's important that we get the project moving again so that we can deliver an efficient transportation system on time and on budget for the people of Oahu."

Cliff Slater of the anti-rail group Honolulutraffic.com said this today:

"Of any appeals court of the United States, the Ninth Circuit is where you want to go. They're very friendly on environmental issues."

But from a legal cost standpoint, the case can't end fast enough.

Hawaii News Now has learned that both sides have spent well over a million dollars in attorneys fees just on the federal case.

And both sides blame each other for running up the legal costs.

"What the city has done every stage of the game, they have run up the bill with an attempt to run us out of the business," said Slater.

"Never had a situation like this where a jurisdiction would be willing to spend this much money to try to freeze out an opponent."

The city says it's the opponents who are driving up the legal costs.

The city's tab for the federal lawsuit is in addition to another $1 million the city has spent or budgeted on legal fees for archeological, land use and other court challenges.

Thursday's hearing comes at the tail end of a two-year legal challenge filed by Honolulutraffic.com, whose members include University of Hawaii law professor Randy Roth and former Gov. Ben Cayetano.

Slater, who has opposed the rail system dating back to the 1980s, says the litigation won't end even if the Ninth Circuit rules against his group.

He said transit officials still have to explain why they didn't purpose an alternative route through Beretania Street. That, he said, will likely mean further court hearings.

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

@

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • Lawyer: No apparent justification for fatal shooting of teen

    Lawyer: No apparent justification for fatal shooting of teen

    Thursday, June 21 2018 8:22 AM EDT2018-06-21 12:22:06 GMT
    Friday, June 22 2018 10:57 PM EDT2018-06-23 02:57:16 GMT
    (Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP). Leonard Hammonds II, of Penn Hills, right, points out that a Turtle Creek Police officer has his had on his weapon during a rally in East Pittsburgh, Pa., on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at a protest regardin...(Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP). Leonard Hammonds II, of Penn Hills, right, points out that a Turtle Creek Police officer has his had on his weapon during a rally in East Pittsburgh, Pa., on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at a protest regardin...

    Hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old boy killed just seconds after he fled a traffic stop during a confrontation partly captured on video.

    More >>

    Hundreds of people took to the streets to protest the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old boy killed just seconds after he fled a traffic stop during a confrontation partly captured on video.

    More >>
  • High Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax

    High Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax

    Thursday, June 21 2018 10:32 AM EDT2018-06-21 14:32:03 GMT
    Friday, June 22 2018 10:54 PM EDT2018-06-23 02:54:04 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jessica Gresko, File). FILE - This April 23, 2018, file photo shows the Supreme Court in Washington.  The Supreme Court says states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax. The 5-4 ruling Thursday is a win for states, who said they were lo...(AP Photo/Jessica Gresko, File). FILE - This April 23, 2018, file photo shows the Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court says states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax. The 5-4 ruling Thursday is a win for states, who said they were lo...

    The Supreme Court says states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax.

    More >>

    The Supreme Court says states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax.

    More >>
  • Local 5 endorses Ige for second term as governor

    Local 5 endorses Ige for second term as governor

    Friday, June 22 2018 10:51 PM EDT2018-06-23 02:51:15 GMT
    (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

    UNITE Here! Local 5 is endorsing David Ige for a second term as governor.

    More >>

    UNITE Here! Local 5 is endorsing David Ige for a second term as governor.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly