Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hawaii Superferry: Act VI, The Supreme Court

If you recall from, Act V in the Ongoing Greek Tragedy that is the Hawaii Superferry; Maui Tomorrow to Appeal, Again, we left off in Act V, where Maui Tomorrow, et al., was set to appeal the state's special legislation which exempts the Hawaii Superferry from HRS Chapter 343 (Hawaii's EIS law).

In Act V, the legislature passed legislation that was signed into law as Act 2. The new law allows ferries, like the Superferry, to operate while it prepares an EIS-like document. Based on the Act, the Maui court reversed its decision enjoining the Superferry from operating in Maui's Kahului Harbor, and the Superferry set sail.

In Act VI, Maui Tomorrow appealed the constitutionality of Act 2, which hinges on whether the new law is special or general legislation. As I discussed in more detail here, special legislation, under Hawaii's Constitution, cannot be used to regulate land "owned by or under the control of the State and its political subdivisions." The Hawaii Supreme Court has accepted the case and will hear arguments at a yet to be determined date.

Will the judiciary swing onto the legislature's branch of government and overrule legislative decision making? Stay tuned.

No comments: