The lawsuit challenging the Turnpike’s tolls as unconstitutional taxes has been rejected by a trial court judge. [Clarification: The judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction; he has not yet dismissed the suit, though I’d wager that he will soon.]
This, you may recall, is the lawsuit in which storied class action attorney Jan Schlichtmann (assisted by other high-powered legal talent such as former A.G. Scott Harshbarger and former Governor’s Legal Counsel Daniel Winslow) argued that using toll revenues to support Big Dig expenses transformed the tolls into unconstitutional taxes.
Trial court judge Herman Smith rejected the argument. You can read the entire decision here (PDF). Basically, Smith concluded that the plaintiffs had little chance of succeeding on the merits of their case, and that even if they did, the extraordinary disruption that a ruling in their favor would create at this stage of the case counseled against granting the desired injunction. Schlichtmann says he will appeal.