Justice Joyce L. Kennard suggested that the agencies' challenge of both laws could backfire. She said the court could find the abolition constitutional but the revenue-sharing law invalid, a prospect that an attorney for redevelopment agencies called the worst possible outcome.
Justice Marvin R. Baxter observed that it would be ironic if Proposition 22, which redevelopment agencies had promoted, ended up requiring the court to overturn the compromise and cut the lifeline that the revenue-sharing law provided. Baxter also appeared dubious that the proposition gave the agencies "perpetual existence."
"The redevelopment agencies took a gamble on this lawsuit," Moody said
The back-and-forth in the San Francisco courtroom seemed to hint that the justices are grappling less with whether the Legislature has the power to abolish RDAs -- a power that the Court seems poised to uphold -- and more with whether the budget provisions that dissolve and then reconstitute RDAs are, as the attorney for the locals argued, "joined at the hip."
Legislators wrote language stating the two are separable -- a point raised in a pointed exchange led by Justice Goodwin Liu. "How could it be any clearer?" said Liu after reading the relevant passage from the legislation.