Monday, December 17, 2007

Supreme Court to hear challenges to transportation plan

The Supreme Court of Virginia has granted expedited review and will hear arguments Jan. 8 on the constitutionality of regional transportation the General Assembly adopted for Northern Virginia.

That means the court will hear two related cases, Marshall v. Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, Record No. 071959 and Board of Supervisors of Loudoun County v. Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, Record No. 01979, barely four months after Arlington County Circuit Judge Benjamin N.A. Kendrick rejected the challenges.

The opponents contend, among other things, that the Virginia Constitution bars an unelected body such as the authority from imposing the taxes proposed to finance the revenue bonds specified for transportation improvements.

The Supreme Court session beginning Jan. 7 has several other cases of note, including the death penalty of a man convicted of killing a Norfolk policeman in October 2005, whether foundations at the state’s teaching hospitals have charitable immunity, and whether submission of scientific reports from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science without testimony from a technician violates the Confrontation Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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