Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Rail hearing today at 10 a.m. in federal court

by Larry Geller

The opening hearing in the anti-rail battle in federal court is to take place this morning in federal court at 10 a.m. The hearing will be before Judge Wallace Tashima, actually a 9th circuit senior judge who seems to get a trip to Hawaii whenever our own federal judges recuse themselves from cases, for example.

This isn’t going to be “disappeared news,” it will be well-covered by most of our media. If you would like to attend today’s hearing on the case challenging Honolulu’s proposed train in the sky, here is the calendar entry (click for readable image).

Rail hearing

There may be a crowd at the hearing. If you plan to attend, best to allow time to pass through security and to check your cellphone or other devices before proceeding upstairs to the 4th floor. A helpful guard up there can direct you to the proper courtroom,or just follow the crowd.

Judge Tashima has been involved in some high-profile cases related to Hawaii. He wrote for the majority in Arakaki v. State of Hawaii (2002), the case that struck down the state constitutional requirement that trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs be of native ancestry. He also ruled against special ed students in deciding not to end Lingle’s notorious Furlough Fridays in 2009. I had a strong personal reaction to his decision, feeling that he had partaken of some kool-aid dispensed by the Lingle administration that should not have formed part of a judge’s decision. I’m certain he would not agree with or care about what I think, but thought it would be worth including here.

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