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Kubosh files appeal in red light camera lawsuit

Mary Benton has the story and the appeal documents. Relevant quote:

In the Kubosh appeal attorneys argue, among other points, “if government by the people, of the people, and for the people is to have meaning in Houston, this Court must permit Appellants to appeal the manifestly erroneous, June, 17, 2011, summary judgment granted in ATS’ favor.”

I will simply note that Paul Kubosh had filed a motion to intervene in the original lawsuit, on the grounds that the city was “not defending the outcome of the election aggressively enough”. Judge Lynn Hughes denied his motion, saying that just as “a councilman who managed an ordinance through the council would not be allowed to join a suit to defend it when it is challenged in court.” As such, I don’t know that he would be considered to have standing to file this appeal. I’m not a lawyer, of course, so take that with the appropriate amount of salt. At least this gives us something to ponder while we wait to see what the city will do.

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4 Comments

  1. Paul Kubosh says:

    You are correct we were not allowed to appeal because we were not allowed to intervene. The City and A.T.S. joined in the opposition of our motion to intervene. However we are currently in the 5th Circuit on the denial of our motion to intervene.

  2. Ron in Houston says:

    It’s an interesting case. Ideally voters should have standing to make sure that their votes truly count. For anyone interested the brief is actually pretty entertaining. From pictures of Chicago white sox players to the “deadest of dead equines” it’s certainly not a dry read.

    I’m biased. I never liked the cameras and voted for the proposition. However, I think from a fundamental fairness perspective the court should allow the Kubosh intervention and should consider their arguments.

  3. Noel Freeman says:

    What gets lost in the discussion over how this does or does not qualify as a charter amendment is that the voters of Houston voted to adopt the charter, and henceforth voted to determine how that charter can or cannot be amended and how the public (the people who voted on it) can or cannot introduce or repeal ordinances.

    How does the will of the people trump the will of the people?

  4. Garwood says:

    Noel — The answer to your issue is similar to the answer to the question “why do public meetings use Roberts Rules of Order?” The participants in the meeting agree to use Roberts Rules of Order so that there is not chaos. So even if there is a clear 80% in favor of something, there is still a motion and a second and discussion and then a vote — you don’t just shout “Wait! 80% of us agree, so let’s just all yell at the top of our lungs and skip all that other crap!” You don’t just skip ahead to what you think “the will of the people” is.

    There is a process for the will of the people. The people put it in place. And it is easy to follow. Kubosh & Co didn’t follow it, but instead tried to take an even easier path: taking a longer time to act and getting fewer signatures.

    If someone wants to run a charter amendment process to amend the charter to delete the referendum provision (which has been a concept at least since the US was founded and in the charter since 1912 or so…) and put something else in place, they are welcome to try and do so. Until then, we should follow the rules that are in place.