The opponents of the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea had a opportunity to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review last year’s Hawaii Supreme Court ruling.
There was a 90-day deadline for a petition to be filed after entry of final judgment of the state Supreme Court ruling. The latter ruling upheld the TMT’s conservation district use permit, which allowed the project to start construction.
The 90-day clock to petition the U.S. Supreme Court began in late December 2018. That deadline came and went, which I found surprising. I thought they were going to petition the United State’s highest court to review this case.
Then I read an article a few months ago that stated why they decided not to litigate this further. As far as I understand, they felt the U.S. Supreme Court was stacked against indigenous peoples. Their petition wouldn’t be fairly reviewed by the court as a result.
I somewhat hoped they’d proceed with their U.S. Supreme Court petition on religious desecration grounds. This is one of the main issues brought up by the mauna protesters against this project. A conclusive decision on this matter would’ve put it to rest, but that won’t happen as the opponents decided to let their remaining legal options expire
The TMT’s 10-year permitting process, which resulted in two contested case hearings and years of litigation, speaks for itself. The courts upheld the TMT’s permitting, which could’ve been further litigated by protesters.
However, they decided to let their legal options, as far as invalidating the conservation district use permit, lapse and illegally block the Maunakea Access Road instead.
Uphold your oaths
As the protest at Maunakea drags on, so does the ineptitude of government officials to enforce all the laws — not just minor citations. Do these county and state officials believe they are above the law by not enforcing the law?
Allowing the citizenry to pick and choose which laws they will follow is a disgrace. For the minority who do not consider themselves citizens of our state, it would follow that they forfeit the rights and entitlements the state provides.
Mayor Harry Kim has been working on a plan. Here is a plan: Open the road; build the telescope.
If our government officials cannot uphold the oath of office, it is time to find other work. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the position.
Barbara A. Frey