John Brandi 9 p.m., Sept. 17
Judge Says Federal Court Can Hear Blackwater's Suit
Judge Marilyn Huff ruled today (Friday, May 30) that the suit by mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide against the City can be heard in federal court. The city attorney's office argued that it was a minuscule local matter and there was no irreparable harm to Blackwater, and hence should be heard in state court. The argument was rejected. The suit is pushed by Marine General and corporate welfare promoter Michael Neil. The City decided Blackwater's permits to have an indoor shooting range almost at the border need more scrutiny and should go to the planning commission and council. The suit denounces the City's action as political, then takes gratuitous political shots at City Attorney Mike Aguirre. It is typical San Diego. Also, the hearing was to be Monday, but appeared to be quietly and abruptly shifted to Friday, probably because anti-Blackwater protesters planned to show up. "It looks awfully suspicious," says Raymond Lutz, head of one of the protest groups. About 30 protesters did show up. The next hearing is June 3.