Fla. SC affirms gov's right to refuse grant

Jessica M. Karmasek Mar. 9, 2011, 1:53pm


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - The Florida Supreme Court has upheld Gov. Rick Scott's decision to reject federal grant funds for construction of a high-speed rail project.

Scott, a Republican, has been an outspoken critic of the project, saying he believes it would put taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars.

State Sens. Arthenia Joyner, a Tampa Democrat, and Thad Altman, a Viera Republican, disagreed with Scott and sued him.

On Friday, the state's high court filed its single-page decision because Friday was the federal deadline by which to accept the $2.4 billion in federal grant funds for the project.

"The petitioners allege that Gov. Scott has exceeded his constitutional authority and violated the separation of powers under the Florida Constitution," the Court wrote.

"The Court has reviewed the petition, response, and reply, has heard oral argument, and has considered the factual allegations and legal arguments. Based on the limited record before the Court and a review of the federal and state law relied on by the parties, the Court has determined that the petitioners have not clearly demonstrated entitlement to quo warranto, mandamus, or any other relief.

"Accordingly, the emergency petition is hereby denied."

No motion for rehearing will be permitted, the Court said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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