Monday, March 16, 2009

Hawaii Supreme Court Holds that the Superferry Bill is Unconstitutional

The Hawaii Supreme Court published an opinion today in Sierra Club v. Dep't of Trans. State of Haw., Sct. No. 29035, March 16, 2009, holding that "Act 2 is unconstitutional as it is a special law in violation of Article XI, section 5 of the Hawaii Constitution."

As discussed in, Draft EIS for the Hawaii Superferry Available for Public CommentsAct 2 (2007) exempted the Hawaii Superferry from Hawaii’s EIS requirements under HRS chapter 343.  Instead, the Act allowed the Superferry to operate while it followed a specially enacted environmental review under Act 2.  Act 2 was narrowly tailored by its terms to apply only to the Superferry.

Without the Act 2 exemption, it is likely that the Circuit Court will grant an injunction on remand, which will stop the Superferry's operations until it completes the EIS process under Chapter 343.

For more on the Superferry saga see Hawaii Superferry.

No comments: