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Miami-Dade County Expressway Battle Goes To Florida Supreme Court

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) - A battle about the operation of expressways in Miami-Dade County has gone to the Florida Supreme Court.

Attorneys for the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority on Wednesday filed a notice that is a first step in asking the Supreme Court to take up a challenge to a 2019 state law that abolished the longstanding authority and replaced it with a new entity called the Greater Miami Expressway Agency.

The move came after a panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in March rejected the authority's challenge to the law. The notice, as is common, did not detail arguments the authority will make at the Supreme Court.

The appeals court overturned a ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper, who said the 2019 law was a "local law" that applied only to Miami-Dade County and, as a result, violated its constitutional home-rule powers.

But in the March ruling, the Tallahassee-based appeals court said the expressway authority lacked legal standing to challenge the law and, as a result, the case should be dismissed.

The decision was based on what is known as the "public official standing doctrine," which blocks public officials from challenging the constitutionality of laws. "(The) Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority lacks standing under the public official standing doctrine because it is a state agency attacking the constitutionality of the 2019 (law)," said the decision, written by Judge Brad Thomas and joined by Judges Timothy Osterhaus and M. Kemmerly Thomas. "And contrary to the expressway authority's arguments, no exception to that doctrine applies here."

(©2021 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)


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