A federal district court in New Orleans has ruled that negligence by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers led to massive flooding in parts of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

That’s negligence, as in the Corps screwed up. As in, if the Corps had done its job, the levees may not have been breached. People would not have died. Property would not have been destroyed.

So anyone who thinks that the Corps is being a bunch of fussy old ladies for refusing to give Dallas officials the go-ahead to build the highway on the Trinity River levees now has the weight of a federal court decision weighing against them. The ruling means flood victims can sue the government, which will have to pay billions in damages. Think the Corps wants to go through that again?

The project is dead, and this unprecedented decision is just another reason why. The only people who don’t realize it’s dead are the city officials, elected and appointed, who have careers riding on building the highway. And the federal court has ruled that careers aren’t as important as human lives.

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