An Unsettled State

Construction at the `Aina Le`a site.

The decision of the Legislature – or rather, a handful of legislators – to second-guess settlements arrived at by state attorneys in at least two high-stakes court cases is, well, unsettling.

In the case involving the lawsuit against the Land Use Commission by Bridge `Aina Le`a, the thinking seems to be that the state could have prevailed had it proceeded to litigate the matter.

Such hubris!

This year, as in several years since the `Aina Le`a lawsuit was filed, the Legislature had before it a bill to bolster the LUC’s enforcement powers, an action that might forestall or at least discourage similar lawsuits. None has passed.

To throw the problem back to the courts risks a court-imposed judgment that might very well eclipse, many times over, the modest settlement agreement. It won’t be the legislators who voted against this who will have to pay in that event; it will be all of us.


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Excerpts from Questioning Of Witnesses for the TMT

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