Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Challenge to MWAA Dulles Rail/Dulles Toll Road financing moves in US Court of Appeals, TOLLROADSNews, March 5, 2012

A major legal challenge to the Dulles Toll Road's financing of a metro rail line moves into the US Court of Appeals with the filing of a closely argued brief by opponents. An American University law professor John Corr and a Loudoun county activist John Grigsby are the plaintiffs in the case against the Dulles Toll Road operator Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA or Em-wah as it is known locally).

The brief written by a serious foursome of constitutional lawyers ensures that the legality of MWAA plans for issuing billions worth of toll revenue bonds for the Dulles metro rail line will be in doubt for the next year at least, and may be blocked by the courts.

Lawyers involved in composing the brief were Christopher Kachouroff, Robert Cynkar, Richard B Rosenthal and Patrick M McSweeney. The law firm Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca filed the suit.

They summarize their case as based on a "technical legal complaint" namely: "Money is being exacted from citizens to fund a public works project (Dulles Metrorail Line) by a government entity (MWAA) that has been fashioned and placed outside the recognized structures of our federal system in order to escape the restraints and accountability that the allocation of powers in our federal and state constitutions were designed to guarantee. It is an illegal exaction in violation of due process."
The rest of this article is available here.

Beyond the legal/constitutional issues described in the legal brief, the article does an excellent job of summarizing the other issues surrounding the use of tolls to finance the Silver Line as well as the drivers that give the project momentum.  Great article!

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