UPDATED: Attorney General Appeals Purple Line Ruling

UPDATE: Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh appealed U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon’s ruling. The appeal consisted of a single paragraph.

Original updated post: U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon issued his final ruling Tuesday in a suit meant to halt construction of the Purple Line, siding with plaintiffs that declining ridership on Metro push down estimates for the light-rail transit link.

He sided with Purple Line supporters, however, over issues involving the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty.

Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoman for Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, said the decision would be appealed.

Leon issued a two-page final judgment, saying he would explain his reasoning in a “Memorandum Opinion” in the future.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn issued this statement: “With a ruling in this case the state of Maryland will immediately move to appeal. This project will provide tremendous value and benefits to the surrounding communities and the state, and we are hoping the appellant court will move forward expeditiously.”

Purple Line Transit Partners said they were encouraged Leon’s decision.

“We were very encouraged by today’s U.S. District Court ruling dismissing most of the plaintiffs’ claims against the Purple Line, and will continue working with our partners at the MTA as they evaluate next steps in the process,” a statement from the organization said.

Purple Line Transit Partners will construct and operate the Purple Line, a 16-mile east-west transit connection between Bethesda and New Carrollton, with stops in Silver Spring and College Park.

Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner gave some praise to Judge Leon, who has been criticized by some for taking too long to issue rulings.

“Judge Leon finally got it right, so now we have this poor decision on the supplemental environmental impact statement, and … I don’t know whether seeking a reversal of his prior ruling on the need on supplemental environmental impact statement would take longer than simply doing the supplemental environmental impact statement,” Berliner said.

This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

Previous posts:

UPDATED: Leggett Disappointed with Purple Line Decision; Hogan Finds It ‘Baffling’


UPDATED: Judges Order Answer to Purple Line Writ


Hogan Trying to Order Purple Line Ruling


UPDATED: Purple Line Supporters Urge Judge to Rule on Case Holding Up Construction (VIDEO)


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About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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