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  • State Representative Brian Harrison, District 10 (Left), State Representative Carl Sherman, District 109 (Right).
    State Representative Brian Harrison, District 10 (Left), State Representative Carl Sherman, District 109 (Right).

Harrison, Sherman at odds over High Speed Rail

ELLIS COUNTY – Ellis County Texas State Representative Brian Harrison, District 10, recently released a statement regarding the ongoing high-speed rail discussion in Ellis County.

While the idea of whether a high-speed rail is a good one or not is controversial in the area, Harrison stated, “As a fierce proponent of private property rights, I am honored to join my colleagues in signing an amicus curiae letter to fight the proposed high-speed rail. We must use every tool possible to protect the rights of landowners.”

Harrison was talking about 11 of his colleagues who he joined last month signing an amicus curiae letter to the Supreme Court of Texas opposing the Texas Central High-Speed Rail.

The letter urged the private company, Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, not be allowed eminent domain authority, thereby granting power regarding the high-speed rail stating he would be “an injustice of great scope and gravity.”

Neighboring District 109 Texas State Representative Carl Sherman, who has been a proponent of high-speed rail since he took office said, “Whether it be railways, highways, telephone lines and even high-speed communications you can always be assured that self-interest will confront public interest.”

“Make no mistake – we will have to decide which we will choose self-interest or public interest, which will have the greater interest” Sherman continued. “Historically, our most beneficial advancements have only been realized when we take a greater good interest as Texans.”

Sherman cited past projects like the Gulf Freeway – Texas’ first Interstate Highway/Urban Express known now as I-45 in Houston, which was built in 1952, as an example.

Harrison’s letter fighting high-speed rail is in support of landowner, James Miles, who is asking the court to declare that TCRI does not have eminent domain authority.

Miles won at the trial court but appealed to the Texas Supreme Court after a state appellate court sided with TCRI. TCRI argues that it should be given the eminent domain authority granted to railroad companies.

The State of Texas has filed a brief with the Texas Supreme Court stating its view TCRI falls short of the Texas Constitution’s definition of a railroad company.

“We know that even the transcontinental railroad the high-speed rail of the 18th Century was initially opposed by some at that time. Thank God that the innovators of the time marched on,” Sherman concluded.

Ellis County Press

208 S Central St. 
Ferris, TX 75125