The Advocate carries the story of the PSC rising to the defense of its rules by filing a friend of the court brief in BellSouth’s appeal that will be heard today in Lake Charles. The introduction lays out the issue:
BellSouth should not be allowed to use its appeal of the bond ordinance used by Lafayette Utilities System to fund a new communications business as a ‘collateral attack’ on the rules passed in October by the state Public Service Commission, the PSC’s attorneys said in a brief.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles is scheduled to hear arguments today on a BellSouth appeal of a lawsuit, dismissed by a state district judge, that sought to invalidate LUS’ plans to borrow up to $125 million to get into the telecommunications business.
The PSC filed a friend of the court brief in support of LUS and in defense of the rules commissioners passed twice in October.
I speculated earlier on the possible consequences of this move by the PSC in political rather than legal realms. Legally, the PSC is defending the issue that is at the heart of BellSouth’s suit. If the court takes the PSC’s position to heart and refuses to deal with issues which might effect the unchallenged rules then much of the substance of the BellSouth lawsuit is gone. We’ll know in about a week.