March 02, 2011 – In an attempt to strong arm Gov. Rick Scott into taking federal funding for the high speed rail, suit filed with the high court Tuesday by Sens. Thad Altman, R-Viera, and Arthenia Senators Thad Altman and Arthenia Joyner have filed a lawsuit against the governor in Florida Supreme Court Tuesday.
Gov. Rick Scott sent a 29 page response on Wednesday. The court set oral arguments for 3 p.m. Thursday. Scott officially rejected the federal money Feb. 16, he said it would have greater economic impact if directed to such projects as dredging ports to expand international trade opportunities.
The response from the Governor was written by general counsel Charles Trippe, who has worked for the CSX railroad company in North Florida, and states that Scott cannot be compelled to support a high-speed train between Orlando and Tampa, that the action is baseless, and should not be considered by the Florida Supreme Court. Trippe noted that the two lawmakers are acting as individuals and not on behalf of the Legislature, which he argued makes them ineligible to complain before the state’s highest court.
Attachments to the response include written releases from Senate President Mike Haridopolos, and House Speaker Dean Cannon, confirming their support of Scott’s decision to reject federal stimulus funds from the administration.
The Supreme Court, Trippe said, should not bother itself in what amounts to a squabble between legislators and the governor.