NFSR Is Not Done with the Supreme Court Yet

Photo: ## Streetsblog/Flickr##

Neighbors for Smart Rail, the group of homeowners that has fought the Expo Line running through their community, isn’t quite done yet. Despite Streetsblog’s proclamation after the California Public Utilities Commission gave the Expo Line the green light that the appeals were over, NFSR is now appealing the Supreme Court ruling.

The initial Supreme Court ruling was that while the Expo Construction Authority should have used current traffic conditions as the baseline for their traffic study in their environmental support documents, that the error was not so grave as to force a new EIR. In fact, several lower courts upheld Expo’s environmental documents and some of the Supreme Court justices felt that the document was just fine, future traffic study and all.

While it’s a long-shot, NFSR feels that the ruling has enough holes in it that the Supreme Court could change its mind if they can prove that the court accidentally mis-stated the law in its conclusion.

For those not familiar with the Supreme Court appeals process, it goes like this.

Within 15 days of the decision, a request for rehearing may be filed if there is an important mistake in the appellate court’s decision in the appeal — like a major misstatement of fact, an error of law, major law or facts that were left out, or an important argument that was not included . No opposition to the petition may be filed unless the court asks for it.

The court can issue a new decision if it agrees with the rehearing request without holding more hearings. Or, they can hold more hearings or ask for a response brief from the other party. Or, they can reject it outright. Or, they can ignore it.

I talked to two attorneys about the chances for success for NFSR. One concluded that the plaintiffs, NFSR, are “nuts.” The other, while admitting it was a long shot, noted that for a group with deep pockets there is nothing really to lose by taking it.

As news breaks from the Supreme Court on this case, Streetsblog will continue to follow this story.

  • Dan W.

    These NIMBYs should have to pick up the cost of Metro’s legal fees for this nonsense.

  • Anonymous

    You know, for the amount of money they’ve spent on legal fees, they could have gone Elon Musk and paid for grade separation of Overland and Westwood themselves. I’m not even joking.

  • Maudie

    If this line ran from Beverly Hills to Culver city and passed through their neighborhood would there be the same sort of opposition. I’m convinced that the changing arguments used be these nimbys is, at its core, little more than race and class panic expressed in the most pc terms they could come up with.

    One of the reasons why LA is not a nice place to live is that people are scared to death of anything that might be used by people not just like youself. We can’t have safe streets, well designed crosswalks, good parks, bike lanes, decent transit etc. because some other might use it and come into your neighborhood. Anything that might benefit the city as a whole must be fought to keep their rest of the city out of your little enclave.

  • angeleno

    Ascribing motives to other people is dicey, but I suspect NFSR cares less about getting grade separation and more about requiring something so expensive it would kill the entire project.

  • Anonymous

    True, the usual MO for this type of opposition is “we’re not opposed to X, we’re just opposed to a fiscally reasonable implementation of X.”

    (Just like the Orange Line opponents who got the law passed requiring any rail line there to be a deep bore subway.)

  • Anonymous

    250 000 kids are injured each year by CARS, 2 000 of whom die. 850 people, not just kids, are injured or killed by trains every year, of whom 450 are killed, maybe a third of them kids.

    250 000 kids injured or killed versus 200-300 kids injured or killed.

    But hey, kids and trains don’t mix, but kids and cars are all fine and dandy, right?

  • Keith Froelich

    I’m so sick of these plutocrats trying(let’s face IT) to keep gangsters out of their little slice of L.A. Ignoring social problems only exacerbates them to the point NO
    one will be “safe” anywhere! Non drivers deserve a way to get to Santa Monica besides interminable rides on #4. Besides, they overlook the proven benefits of light rail for the surrounding neighborhoods.