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You can watch it here.

My personal view is that the main argument that the HSR proponents should have forwarded - that the Governor's acceptance of the federal funds for the HSR project was ministerial in nature (the signing of the agreement with the federal DOT) and that Governor Scott had no discretion to refuse to sign the agreement as Florida law required him to do so - was lost in the mire.

Instead the argument was bogged down on the question of whether subsequent Florida legislative appropriation were subject to the Governor's approval (it is of course, by veto or line item veto, which can be overridden by the legislature.)

The question the HSR proponents should have focused on was what Governor Scott needs to NOW to accept the federal funding, as opposed to what Governor Scott may choose to do in the future (veto appropriations for the HSR project.)

Not the best oral argument I've seen. As I count the votes for the actual relief the HSR proponents seek, I do not think the votes are there. Chief Justice Cannady and Justice Lewis are votes for denying relief. Perry and Quince are likely to vote for some form of relief. Justice Pariente probably wants to vote for some form of relief, but is struggling to see how she can do it. Justices Polston and LaBarga did not appear to indicate any particular view on the issue.

Originally posted to Discussing The Law: TalkLeft's View On Law and Politics on Thu Mar 03, 2011 at 04:27 PM PST.

Also republished by DKos Florida.

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