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Appeals court schedules August hearing on rail injunction

By Marcel Honore

LAST UPDATED: 12:43 p.m. HST, May 3, 2013

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today granted a request by rail opponents to expedite their appeal seeking to stop the transit project.

The federal case is scheduled to be heard the week of August 12 in San Francisco, according to a message posted on the case docket today.

Opponents of the local rail project, including former Gov. Ben Cayetano, Cliff Slater and University of Hawaii law Professor Randall Roth, filed the request last month in hopes of getting a decision on their appeal before construction resumes in September.

“This is good news,” Slater, one of the project’s most outspoken opponents, said in a statement today. “ We are pleased that the Ninth Circuit will likely make a final decision soon.”

In December, visiting federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima refused to halt construction on the $5.26 billion rail project. Tashima did require the city to further study rail’s impact on Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako; the feasibility of an alternative downtown route under Beretania Street and the impact to cultural sites along the 20-mile route.

Opponents filed an appeal in February to overturn Tashima’s ruling.

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