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Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Telescope Case Goes Before Supreme Court Aug 27
By News Release @ 9:11 PM :: 3039 Views :: Higher Education, OHA


News Release from Hawaii Judiciary August 25, 2015

On August 27, 2015 the Hawaii Supreme Court will be hearing oral argument in the case of MAUNA KEA ANAINA HOU, CLARENCE KUKAUAKAHI CHING, FLORES-CASE `OHANA, DEBORAH J. WARD, PAUL K. NEVES, and KAHEA: THE HAWAIIAN ENVIRONMENTAL ALLIANCE, a domestic nonprofit corporation, Petitioners/Appellants Appellants, vs. BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, STATE OF HAWAI`I, DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, STATE OF HAWAI`I, SUZANNE CASE, in her official capacity as Chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources and Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI`I AT HILO, Respondents/Appellees Appellees.

The oral argument will begin promptly at 8:45 a.m. at the Hawaii State Supreme Court courtroom, which is on the second floor of Aliiolani Hale at 417 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96813. The doors will open to the courtroom when Aliiolani Hale opens for business at 7:45 a.m.

The public entrance to Aliiolani Hale is off of King Street, and each person who enters will be required to go through the routine security screening checkpoint.

Seating in the courtroom is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Following oral arguments, audio recordings are also made available on the Hawaii State Judiciary’s website on the audio archives page.

When a decision in the case is rendered, it will be posted on the Opinions and Orders page on the Hawaii State Judiciary website. All opinions and orders are also shared on the Judiciary’s twitter page. Please follow us on twitter at

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Community rallies to support petitioners as the Hawai’i Supreme Court hears the first oral arguments for the case concerning the construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope.

News Release

On August 27th at 8:45am, the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for the case concerning the construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) on the sacred summits of Mauna Kea. Prior to the hearing, community members plan to rally to demonstrate support for the Mauna Kea Hui members.

Mauna Kea Hui members, Kealoha Pisciotta of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, Deborah J. Ward, Clarence Kū Ching, the Flores-Case ʻOhana (E. Kalani Flores and Pua Case), Paul Neves, and KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, and their attorney, Richard Naiwieha Wurdeman, are appealing the state Third Circuit’s affirmation of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources’ (BLNR) decision to grant a conservation district use permit (CDUP) to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (UHH) for TMT construction.

In earlier statements released to the press, the petitioners commented on the transfer of the case to the Hawai’i Supreme Court. Kealoha Pisciotta stated, “This is good news and recognizes the importance of our case for all of Hawaiʻi.” Another petitioner, Kū Ching stated, "The transfer signals that the Hawai'i Supreme Court, in unanimity, believes that the so-called TMT Conservation District Use Permit deserves the utmost legal scrutiny and priority.”

CDUPs are exceptions to the rule and can only be granted if proposed projects meet eight criteria including preservation of beauty, consistency with conservation district purposes, and an absence of substantial adverse impact.

“Mauna Kea is a vast community resource and many people use it for various purposes. That is why it is designated a conservation district, and why the laws of our state say to protect these things,” stated Pisciotta in previous statements to the press.

Community members are planning to gather prior to the hearing in support of the petitioners to demonstrate solidarity. “It is a beautiful time to be standing unified with everyone for Mauna A Wakea (Mauna Kea). We have all heard the call, a responsibility, indeed a duty to Hawai’i from the mountains to the sea which has inspired us and in the deepest of aloha aligned with the upright action of pono we assemble and holomua,” said Pua Case.

“Our primary purpose of the rally is to make clear that although there are only six petitioners in the court room, they represent the voice of our community. We will gather in kapu aloha to demonstrate that we are all connected to this issue and other issues rooted in aloha ʻāina,” said one of the rally organizers.

The specifics for the rally are as follows:

· Date: Thursday, August 27

· Time: 7:00 a.m.

· Place: Kamehameha Statue



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