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The issue over the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) atop the Big Island mountain of Mauna Kea is yet to be resolved. A judge on late Friday issued a statement that has invalidated the state’s rule to curb protest against the construction of TMT.
According to a joint statement issued late Friday by state Attorney General Douglas Chin and state Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairwoman Suzanne Case, the Hawaiian circuit court granted a partial motion for summary judgment.
The state has acknowledged the court’s decision and will abide by it. “We remind people traveling to Mauna Kea even in light of today's ruling existing laws and rules remain. It is always illegal to block road. This includes standing in road or placing obstructions in road. Laws will continue to enforced”, the statement said.
David Kauila Kopper, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit against the rule on behalf of a Hawaii resident, has appreciated the decision and honored the wishes of Native Hawaiians who consider the mountain Mauna Kea as sacred.
Kopper, who works with the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, said in a statement that the state adopted an illegal rule to stop the protest against construction of TMT. The state tried to stop the opposition at the expense of sincere cultural practices and public expression.
The state land board gave approval for the emergency rule after a heated public meeting on July 10. Protesters have been camping on the mountain in an attempt to block construction. And construction of the TMT has been on halt since April.