On Thursday, the Washington State Supreme Court published their 7-2 opinion (PDF), denying a laundry list of the usual anti-transit suspects their likely second to last attempt to block the construction of East Link.
This latest case started in Kittitas County – Freeman sued to block East Link there, perhaps looking for a more conservative judge than he’d find in King, and failed over a year ago. He appealed to the Supreme Court, and this week the result is clear: he’s burning his money on ways to block rail without success on any front.
The fight for rail in the I-90 express lanes is long – it started in the 1970s with the reconstruction and expansion of I-90, Sound Transit joined the party in 2004 to plan transit across the bridge, Sound Transit 2 funded it, and finally it’s happening!
Freeman’s suit alleged that because I-90 was partly (about 10%) built with state gas tax money, and state gas tax money is prohibited from use for transit projects, the state couldn’t lease the lanes to Sound Transit. There are a lot of specifics, but all of them were wrong, and unless you’re really fascinated by the legal contortions that folks like this will go to in order to try to stop transit, it’s really only worth reading the first couple of pages of background (PDF, look at pages 1-5), which are excellent.
So, assisted by attorney Phil Talmadge, who I expected better from, and the Eastside Transportation Association, a nonprofit you should never donate to, here’s the dirty dozen:
Kemper Freeman; Jim Horn; Steve Stivala; Ken Collins; Michael Dunmire; Sarah Rindlaub; Al Deatley; Jim Coles; Bryan Boehm; Emory Bundy; Roger Bell; and Mark Anderson.
It’s possible this will come back one more time – part of the decision came down to only five members of the court agreeing that WSDOT could lease the space to Sound Transit. The other four think the lease wouldn’t be constitutional, but that they can’t weigh in until someone sues when the lease actually takes place. Kemper Freeman may very well waste more of his money, and our tax dollars, with his attempt to litigate away the will of his neighbors.