Words by Lanny Sinkin
My personal perception is that a new wave of seriously illegal activity rose when the United States Supreme Court stopped the recount in Florida and gave the election to George Bush. That wave has produced all the impeachable offenses now lined up at the House Judiciary Committee.
The wave moved out of Washington, rolled across the landscape of the United States, and flowed into Hawai’i with the Superferry riding high.
Rolling past Federal regulators, sweeping up State officials, rolling over citizen opposition, and swatting aside law suits, the wave seemed on the verge of drowning everything in its path.
Then the Hawaii Supreme Court stood up and said “no.”
That did not stop the wave, which continued on to put Superferry into operation in violation of the Supreme Court ruling.
The wave reached Kaua’i. The people rose in opposition. The wave broke and dissolved, with Superferry heading back to Honolulu without docking. The end game for the wave began.
Those who had been benefiting from the wave tried to reorganize and come back to Kaua’i and met such fierce resistance that they abandoned the idea.
Then Judge Cardoza stepped up to enter an injunction as sought by the Sierra Club; Maui Tomorrow, Inc; and Kahului Harbor Coalition through their attorney Isaac Hall.
The wave had enough energy left to manufacture a public outcry in favor of the Superferry that led most of the Legislature to duck out of the way and pass an unconstitutional law permitting Superferry to operate, hoping the citizen opposition would do the legislator’s job for them.
The final outcome of Superferry may be determined in Judge Cardoza’s court room. Whatever the outcome, the ripples going out from the Superferry episode will continue to have major impacts on a broad front of issues.
The Kaua’i resistance sent out a signal that was heard well beyond Hawai’i. The courage of the Kauaians has inspired new efforts on the part of people opposing other manifestations of the wave.
A new wave of citizen action is forcing the elected and appointed officials to finally be accountable to the Constitution, the laws, and the electorate.