(Judge invalidates vote ending red-light cameras. James Pinkerton and Chris Moran. Chron.com)
A Houston federal judge on Friday invalidated last November’s referendum that ended the red-light camera program, a ruling that has sent city leaders back to square one.You have to think that American Traffic Solutions now feel they have a legally binding contract with the City of Houston that has to be executed.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ruled the city can not reverse an ordinance except by a referendum of voters held within 30 days of the passage of the ordinance. Opponents to the red light camera ordinance, which passed in 2004, mounted the last year challenge as an amendment to the city charter but Hughes said it was essentially the same thing.
As far as the ruling itself? Like many other bloggers, I'm not a fan of judges overturning the will of the voters in non-Constitutional matters. This isn't a case where the minority is being trod on by the majority, or a situation where the security of the union is in danger. Houston's elected officials have recently said that they wouldn't resume the program even IF a judge voted the election down.
I just can't help but wonder if they're going to, legally, have any choice?