Archive for Friday, July 6, 2012

All await SLT court decision

July 6, 2012

When it comes to the South Lawrence Trafficway project, Lawrence is used to waiting.

Both supporters and opponents of the project to build a bypass through the Baker Wetlands are finding the waiting game extends to the legal case surrounding the roadway, too.

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in mid-January heard a case regarding whether the road project had the necessary approvals to build through the Baker Wetlands. Attorneys at the time had speculated a ruling could be issued by the court in 90 to 120 days. But as July 4 has come and gone, followers of the case are wondering when a decision may come.

A spokesman with the court said recently only the three judges who heard the case have any clue to when a ruling may be issued.

“We don’t have any idea until the court tells us they have a judgment they are ready to have entered,” said Doug Cressler, chief deputy clerk for the 10th Circuit. “The timetable is related to so many variables, including the number and complexity of issues.”

Several observers had expected the South Lawrence Trafficway case to take longer than the normal 90 days for an appellate court ruling because the SLT case file contained a staggering 8,000 pages of documents.

Recently, though, speculation had grown that if a ruling wasn’t made before July 4 that it likely would be at least another two months before a decision would be handed down. Speculation was the judges were set to go on recess, leaving the case in limbo. Cressler, though, said such speculation wasn’t accurate.

“We don’t have any type of terms like the U.S. Supreme Court does,” Cressler said. “We decide cases all year round. A decision could be handed down anytime.”

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