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From the “Heads I win, tails you lose” department

That Andy Taylor. What a kidder.

Metropolitan Transit Authority officials were jubilant Thursday on learning that a lawsuit aimed at keeping the planned University light rail line from being built, even partly, on Richmond Avenue had been tossed out of court.

The brief ruling by state District Judge Levi Benton said the plaintiff, Daphne Scarbrough, “has no standing to pursue the claims asserted.”

“The real winners are this region’s commuters who will benefit sooner rather than later from improved mobility,” Metro CEO Frank Wilson said in a statement that also referred to “specious lawsuits.”

It was good news for Metro, but it was also just one round in the fight. Scarbrough’s attorney, Andy Taylor, said he would appeal.

[…]

A few hours before Benton’s ruling, Taylor said that if the decision came down in favor of his client, he would beseech Metro publicly to forgo its right of appeal and allow a trial to go forward “so we can know the answer before we start digging dirt and spending taxpayer dollars.”

That may sound reasonable, but it would be a roll of the dice for Metro, which has a responsibility not to risk the taxpayer dollars already spent, by putting the project’s future in the hands of 12 random strangers.

Of course, Taylor was never going to forgo his client’s right to appeal in the event of a ruling in Metro’s favor. Now, I don’t expect him to do anything that isn’t clearly in his client’s best interests. He shouldn’t expect Metro or its lawsyers, acting on behalf of the voters who approved the 2003 referendum and who want and expect the light rail network to be built, to do any differently. Nice try, though.

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