Arlington responded with the mootness argument, pointing out that the election was irrelevant because the City invoked its at-will termination clause in the ATS contract before the votes were even certified, and the red light cameras are down.
ATS wants to focus on what it believes was Judge Lowe’s grant of the City’s plea to jurisdiction and dismissal of the case before the case (in which the City argued that the matter wasn’t ripe and would not be until the election was over, at the least).
When the hearing of the case before Judge Lowe was going on, I was honored to represent Citizens for a Better Arlington (which gathered the petitions), and filed a motion to intervene in the case (meaning that the petition-gathering group could get involved in the case and defend the city’s actions). We were allowed to participate in the hearing during which the ATS suit was dismissed, and then the Court of Appeals invited a response from Citizens for a Better Arlington during the briefing of the appeal, so I sent in a brief. (However, they passed on the opportunity to hear me during the oral argument.)
I think that the ATS argument that the election was an illegal referendum is baloney. (I know – that’s some pretty highfalutin legal language.) Moreover, even if the election was an illegal referendum, the validity of the petition and the election are irrelevant, because as the city attorney stated very well, the Arlington City Council voted to terminate the contract on its own, and not based on some magical authority of the election. It would be different if the council did not take a vote to have the election or end the contract, but it voted to have the election, and then also voted to end the contract.
A recording of the oral argument is available for your listening pleasure, is actually interesting, and not too legalese to understand.