16 March 2009

"Large Capacity Interisland Ferry Vessel"

The Hawai'i Supreme Court issued its 3-2-0 ruling on the Superferry Case. For my readers that are not in Hawai'i or don't read the news, the Hawai'i Superferry is a "large capacity, inter island transport vessel" that was summarily exempted from Hawaii's environmental review laws shortly before the state paid for a number of harbor improvements to allow the Superferry to operate between islands. Environmental groups on Maui sued and lost and appealed. The week before operations were to begin, the Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled against the government and the Superferry in a 5-0 decision overturning the decision below. The Superferry sped up operation start date and operated for one day before the lower Maui court issued a temporary restraining order halting operations. Operations stopped until November 2007, when the Hawai'i State Legislature, convened in special session and passed a special law, Act 2, exempting, temporarily, the Superferry from the environmental review laws. The Maui court dissolved the injunction but granted attorney's fees. The Superferry appealed the attorney's fees and the environmentalists appealed the Maui court's determination that Act 2 was constitutional.

The Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled 5-0 that Act 2 was unconstitutional today and 5-0 that awarding of attorney's fees were appropriate -- and 3-2 on how exactly those fees are appropriate.

Lingle has gone and lost her mind. Not only is she insistent that the Superferry decisions and Act 2 were correct, but that losing the Superferry would be "devastating." Gone and lost her mind!

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