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Thursday, November 11, 2021
Hawaii Supreme Court Guts-And-Replaces The Legislature's "Gut-And-Replace" Switcheroo
By Robert Thomas @ 8:01 PM :: 683 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government

... a well-functioning republic presumes that those tasked with vigilance -- the public -- have the opportunity to understand the substance of what those whom we elect to represent us are actually doing ....

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Friday, August 27, 2021
SCOTUS Strikes Down CDC Eviction Moratorium And Leaves Tantalizing Clues About Takings
By Robert Thomas @ 11:48 PM :: 1168 Views :: Small Business, COVID-19

... The other shoe -- perhaps the most predictable shoe drop in legal history -- dropped yesterday ....

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Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Guam Mango Seizure Unconstitutional
By Robert Thomas @ 12:00 PM :: 1103 Views :: Judiciary, Small Business

... "[i]n the case before us, the government is not merely restricting what Genpro may do with its dried mangoes, it is compelling the physical surrender of the mangoes to WSTCO." ....

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Sunday, July 4, 2021
The Verified Complaint In Equity: The Declaration Of Independence
By Robert Thomas @ 12:01 AM :: 17197 Views :: National News, Hawaii History

...the structure and style of the Declaration follows a form familiar to most modern lawyers: a complaint initiating a lawsuit....

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Sunday, June 20, 2021
State Supreme Court: With Environmentalism Anybody Can Veto Affordable Housing
By Robert Thomas @ 4:54 AM :: 1919 Views :: Maui County, Environment, Development, Greenmail, Judiciary, Land Use

... Anyone Claiming That An Affordable Housing Project Might Impact Their Property Interests In A "Clean And Healthful Environment" Has Standing To Object ....

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021
​Hawaii Court Of Appeals: You Can't Sanction A Member Of The Public For Merely Asking To Unseal Court Records
By Robert Thomas @ 10:15 PM :: 1589 Views :: Ethics, First Amendment, Judiciary

... the trial court sanctioned 'Judges for Justice' $17,000 for making the request ....

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Thursday, June 10, 2021
PASH and the Changing Coastal Environment
By Robert Thomas @ 2:01 AM :: 1131 Views :: Land Use

... a retrospective of one of the Hawaii Supreme Court's most famous (or infamous) decisions ....

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Sunday, April 4, 2021
Al Hee Claims Ownership of Federal Subsidies--Court Laughs
By Robert Thomas @ 2:47 AM :: 1985 Views :: DHHL, Ethics

... There's a lot there: acronyms, bureaucracy-speak, family-inside politician dealings, tax fraud convictions, and the like ....

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Friday, April 2, 2021
Hawaii's Good Friday Holiday - What's Up With That?
By Robert Thomas @ 12:00 AM :: 26573 Views :: Hawaii History, Labor, Religion

If you ask how "a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary" squares with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, let us explain ....

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021
What are the Limits to Hawaii Governors' Emergency Powers?
By Robert Thomas @ 10:51 PM :: 1342 Views :: Hawaii State Government, COVID-19

... Hawai‘i’s statute contains a single major check on the executive’s delegated authority: the “automatic termination” provision ....

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Monday, February 22, 2021
SCOTUS Refuses to Hear Bridge Aina Lea Case
By Robert Thomas @ 4:00 PM :: 2009 Views :: Hawaii County , Development, Land Use

"... If there is no such thing as a regulatory taking, we should say so ...."

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Bridge Aina Lea: 9th Circuit Allows Case to go Forward
By Robert Thomas @ 4:42 AM :: 2125 Views :: Hawaii County , Development, Land Use

... The district court's judgment is reversed, case remanded for the merits ....

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Saturday, January 23, 2021
"25 Years of PASH"
By Robert Thomas @ 11:00 AM :: 1690 Views :: Greenmail, Land Use

... in the PASH case the Hawaii Supreme Court concluded that subject to certain qualifications, the Hawaii Constitution allows native Hawaiians to exercise traditional practices, even on private property ....

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Friday, December 11, 2020
Hawaii Supreme Court And Ineffective Assistance Of Appellate Counsel
By Robert Thomas @ 5:51 PM :: 1235 Views :: Judiciary

... The trial court concluded that indeed, appellate counsel had been ineffective, but also declined to enter any relief because a trial court obviously cannot order the Supreme Court to reconsider ....

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Monday, November 30, 2020
Bridge Aina Lea: US Supreme Court Demands Response from State
By Robert Thomas @ 4:43 AM :: 1957 Views :: Hawaii County , Development

... the State hired a DC SCOTUS player to argue that this case isn't worth the Court's time ....

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Friday, September 4, 2020
How Can? U.S. DHS: National Eviction Moratorium
By Robert Thomas @ 3:46 AM :: 1797 Views :: Law Enforcement, Small Business, COVID-19

...state and local governments may be breathing a sigh of relief: thanks to this order, the feds have just stepped up to be the defendant in takings lawsuits and to be on the financial hook for any judgments for eviction moratoria (at least in those jurisdictions that have not adopted more protective restrictions)....

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Thursday, August 27, 2020
Bridge Aina Lea: US Supreme Court Urged to Hear Case
By Robert Thomas @ 3:14 AM :: 1884 Views :: Hawaii County , Land Use

 ...'This case is the proverbial 'Exhibit A' of much that is wrong with takings law.'....

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Sunday, July 19, 2020
Bridge Aina Lea Heading to US Supreme Court?
By Robert Thomas @ 12:13 AM :: 2152 Views :: Hawaii County , Land Use

...Cert Petition: "This case is the proverbial 'Exhibit A' of much that is wrong [with takings law]...."

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Monday, July 6, 2020
Unpacking Court Order Denying TRO to Block COVID Emergency Rules
By Robert Thomas @ 7:27 PM :: 1597 Views :: COVID-19

...When the opinion starts this way, you know which way it is headed....

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Hawaii AG: For The Hearing At Which I Will Argue That Indoor In-Person Gatherings Are Dangerous, Let's Gather Indoors In-Person!
By Robert Thomas @ 5:15 PM :: 2073 Views :: Judiciary, Tourism, COVID-19

...the court scheduled a hearing for Thursday, July 2, 2020....

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Friday, June 26, 2020
COVID Suits: One Case Dismissed, Judge Blocks Feds from Other
By Robert Thomas @ 4:39 AM :: 1725 Views :: Tourism, COVID-19

...The court also ordered plaintiffs to respond to the Governor's virus pre-check program....

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Thursday, June 25, 2020
The Separation of Powers Limitation on Hawaii’s Emergency Authority
By Robert Thomas @ 10:53 PM :: 2073 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Health Care, COVID-19

...a hard look at the most important limitation on government power in an emergency, the statutory requirement that any emergency proclamation automatically terminates no later than sixty days after it is issued....

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Thursday, June 25, 2020
Will Hawaii COVID Lawsuits be Consolidated?
By Robert Thomas @ 3:54 AM :: 1532 Views :: Law Enforcement, COVID-19

...Ige yesterday asked the court to consolidate the two cases....

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Constitutional Law and States of Emergency: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Robert Thomas @ 11:59 PM :: 1762 Views :: COVID-19

...This is a one-hour program, open to the public....

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Another Hawaii Lawsuit: Coronavirus Orders Violate Right To Travel, Equal Protection, Due Process
By Robert Thomas @ 6:04 PM :: 2713 Views :: Small Business, COVID-19

...the second complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii challenging the governor's coronavirus shut down orders....

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Thursday, June 11, 2020
Hawaii COVID Lawsuit: Emergency Rules Unconstitutional Beyond 60 Days
By Robert Thomas @ 4:54 AM :: 4297 Views :: COVID-19

..."From day 61 on, the governor is both making laws and enforcing them, in violation of the separation of powers provisions under Hawaii’s state constitution.”....

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Petitioner Needs Counsel For Supreme Court Oral Arguments In Due Process Case
By Robert Thomas @ 9:59 AM :: 1938 Views :: Family, Judiciary

...Should the parties be accepted to the Appellate Pro Bono Program, plaintiff may renew his motion for retention of oral argument....

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Monday, May 4, 2020
Supreme Livestream: Maui Water Rights Case
By Robert Thomas @ 10:09 PM :: 2502 Views :: Maui County, Greenmail, Judiciary, OHA

...Hawaii Supreme Court Livestream Oral Argument In Water Rights, Admin Law Case (Tuesday, May 5, 2020, 10am HT)....

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Monday, April 27, 2020
Lahaina Injection Wells: Ad hoc rules and non-exhaustive lists of "factors"
By Robert Thomas @ 3:57 AM :: 2027 Views :: Maui County, Environment

...the usual result is going to be that you run a big risk if you don't get a permit....

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Thursday, April 9, 2020
Safety Dance: Are There Limits To Lockdowns?
By Robert Thomas @ 2:42 AM :: 2085 Views :: First Amendment, Small Business, COVID-19

...Join us next Tuesday, April 14, 2020, at 12 noon Hawaii Time for a free webinar sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, "Safety vs. Freedom: Are There Limits to Lockdowns?"....

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Friday, April 3, 2020
Bridge Aina Lea: What Constitutes Loss?
By Robert Thomas @ 12:07 AM :: 1789 Views :: Hawaii County , Land Use

...The opinion also adds to the growing confusion about whether the regulatory takings doctrine deals with use or value....  

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Monday, March 30, 2020
Time For A "Coronavirus Disputes Court?"
By Robert Thomas @ 3:46 AM :: 1936 Views :: Judiciary, COVID-19

...given the magnitude of the potential claims arising out the present situation, one way to bring the takings, commandeering, landlord-tenant, insurance, and other closely-related issues to a quick(er) resolution....

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Thursday, March 26, 2020
The Royal Origins Of "Police Power" Hawaii-Style: The King v. Tong Lee (1880)
By Robert Thomas @ 10:50 AM :: 2500 Views :: Hawaii History, Land Use, Small Business

...the first Hawaii case which uses the term "police power"....

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Thursday, March 19, 2020
​Emergencies, Police Power, Commandeering, And Compensation: Essential Readings
By Robert Thomas @ 5:00 AM :: 2036 Views :: Law Enforcement, COVID-19

...government power in times of crisis and the tension between that power and property and other individual rights....

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Debunked Litigation Strategy: Honolulu Latest to Sue Big Oil for Global Warming
By Robert Thomas @ 3:50 AM :: 1453 Views

...the fun part is in the claims for relief....

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Thursday, February 20, 2020
Bridge Aina Lea: 9th Circuit Takes Developer's Last Dollar
By Robert Thomas @ 2:44 AM :: 3095 Views :: Hawaii County , Development, Land Use

...the District Court had awarded nominal compensation ($1), after the jury concluded that the State of Hawaii took Aina Lea's property....

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Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Land Use: Hawaii Supreme Court Creates New Procedural Hoop to Jump Through
By Robert Thomas @ 12:04 PM :: 2500 Views :: Development, Land Use

...HAWSCT: When Agency Includes Conditions In Phase 1 Land Use Permit, But Later Removes The Conditions In Phase 2 Permit, Party Who Asked For Conditions Is Entitled To Notification....

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Friday, December 13, 2019
Legislature's "Gut-And-Replace" Procedure Violates Hawaii Constitution Three Readings Requirement
By Robert Thomas @ 3:55 AM :: 2223 Views :: Ethics, Hawaii State Government

...Here's the motion we filed today....

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Thursday, November 7, 2019
Hot Take On The Maui Clean Water Act Arguments
By Robert Thomas @ 2:12 PM :: 3107 Views :: Maui County, Environment, Tourism

...It all turns on the language of the Clean Water Act, and what does the term "from" mean....

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Maui Enviros Sue in State Court to Yank Case Away from US Supreme Court
By Robert Thomas @ 4:06 AM :: 3207 Views :: Maui County, Environment, Judiciary

... If this were federal court with its Article III case and controversy standing requirements, we'd bet the court might have a difficult time finding standing. But this is a Hawaii court applying Hawaii law, and anyone who might be able to allege even "butterfly effect" linkage to the desired outcome has a very good argument for standing ....

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Sunday, October 27, 2019
Bridge Aina Lea: Will Takings Claim Be Ruled out by Statute of Limitations?
By Robert Thomas @ 1:25 AM :: 3128 Views :: Hawaii County , Development, Law Enforcement

...State's Amicus Response....

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Friday, October 25, 2019
Lights Out In The Land Of No: The Practical Effects Of California's Wildfire Inverse Condemnation Doctrine
By Robert Thomas @ 6:55 PM :: 3013 Views :: Energy, Judiciary

...if the power is to be shut off to more than a handful of customers statewide, the power must also be shut off to the homes of both the responsible utility execs and the state legislature and executive office buildings....

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Monday, October 14, 2019
SCOTUS: Who is in charge at the County Of Maui?
By Robert Thomas @ 1:38 AM :: 3253 Views :: Maui County, Environment

...SCOTUS Oral Argument Hinges On Internal Dispute Over Who Can Settle....

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Friday, August 9, 2019
Bridge Aina Lea: Statute of Limitations?
By Robert Thomas @ 12:10 AM :: 3626 Views :: Hawaii County , Development, Land Use

...Here is the motion asking the Hawaii Supreme Court for leave to file an amicus curiae brief (and the proposed brief)....

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Honolulu's New Short-Term Rental Ordinance Challenged In Federal Court
By Robert Thomas @ 4:01 PM :: 5358 Views :: Honolulu County, Land Use, Small Business, Tourism

... read the full complaint ....

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Friday, June 28, 2019
What The US Supreme Court's Property Rights Decision Means For Hawaii's Property Owners
By Robert Thomas @ 3:10 AM :: 7218 Views :: National News, Development, Judiciary, Land Use, Small Business, Tourism

...Hawaii’s property owners now have many more options for fighting back against oppressive government regulation of property than they did last week.... 

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Does Legalizing Uber and Lyft 'Take' The Property Of Taxi Companies?
By Robert Thomas @ 6:34 PM :: 2399 Views :: Small Business

...taxi companies in several cities have brought lawsuits claiming that legalizing ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft violates the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment....

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Thursday, May 16, 2019
HAWSCT: PUC Must Consider Whether Renewable Biofuel Energy Plant Might Impact Property Right To Clean And Healthful Environment
By Robert Thomas @ 6:53 PM :: 3847 Views :: Hawaii County , Energy, Environment

...the court's conclusion that the property right to a clean and healthful environment not only requires the PUC to conduct an administrative trial, but that as part of the trial, the agency must expressly consider "the reduction of [greenhouse gas] emissions"....

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Friday, April 5, 2019
9th Circuit: City Can Only Enforce Sleeping Ban if Shelter Available
By Robert Thomas @ 10:48 PM :: 4487 Views :: Homelessness

"...the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment bars a city from prosecuting people criminally for sleeping outside on public property when those people have no home or other shelter to go to...."

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Sunday, March 10, 2019
Ninth Circuit Wants To Know The Statute Of Limitations For Takings Claims In Hawaii
By Robert Thomas @ 4:40 PM :: 4789 Views :: Hawaii County , Judiciary, Land Use

...which statute of limitations applies to takings claims: the two-year personal injury statute, or the six-year "catch all." The answer has not been definitively resolved by Hawaii's courts....

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