Judge's Decision Looms Over Honolulu Rail

Nick Grube/Honolulu Civil Beat

A federal judge from California is now the central figure in a legal fight that could decide the fate of the controversial $5.26 billion rail project and perhaps even determine who will be Honolulu's next mayor.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge A. Wallace Tashima heard what might be the final arguments in a federal lawsuit that aims to stop the contentious transit project.

But aside from the laborious posturing of the legal teams on both sides, the most interesting aspect of Tuesday’s proceeding has to do with what didn’t happen.

Tashima, who presided over the case after most of Honolulu’s federal judges recused themselves, did not make a decision. He also didn’t give an indication of when he would finally rule.

Both the decision and when it comes down are key to the future of Honolulu rail.

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