The U.S. Supreme Court has asked the attorney for a group of Arlington commuters to respond to arguments in favor of a Supreme Court review of the constitutionality of ordinances barring commuter parking in residential neighborhoods.
The request could delay action by the high court on a request by Arlington County to review a Virginia State Supreme Court decision that such ordinances are unconstitutional. However, whether there is response may depend on whether the commuter group can raise funds to retain an attorney.
Henry Itkin, who is leading the effort to raise money, said that the group wants to retain Herbert C. Harper, the lawyer who successfully represented the commuters in challenges to the ordinance. The Supreme Court allowed 30 days for an appeal, and Itkin said they hope to raise enough money within that time.
Harper said he had not yet seen the request from the Supreme Court, but that he is not technically counsel for the commuters now. Some of the commuters originally involved in the suit have moved and others are no longer active.
Arlington County requested the high court to take an appeal of the Virginia Court decision and filed arguments about why the court should review the case, supported by arguments from other groups who have an interest in seeing such ordinances preserved. Both the District of Columbia and Montgomery County and other cities across the nation have similar regulations.
There is no requirement that both sides of a case file arguments at this stage of proceedings when the court has only been asked to decide whether to deal with the case. Because the commuters had not retained counsel, no opposing argument had been filed.
The court is expected to recess late in June, so action on the case may be delayed until the new term begins in October.