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Fast review of rulings against California high-speed rail ordered

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court ordered an appeals court Wednesday to undertake a fast-track review of two rulings that could disrupt financing of the voter-approved bullet train.

In a brief order signed by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the state high court transferred a challenge to the rulings by Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration to the intermediate  Court of Appeal in Sacramento and ordered written arguments to be completed by Feb. 10.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority asked the state Supreme Court late Friday to block the rulings by March 1, warning they could indefinitely delay construction of the rail project between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The court, meeting in closed session, declined to put the rulings on hold pending review, but ordered an expedited review that is likely to result in a swift ruling.

The Brown administration has said the rulings by Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny “cast a cloud of uncertainty” over the project and put at risk billions of dollars in federal grants.


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