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Navahine F. v. Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation hearing
24 May @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm EDT
On June 1, 2022, 14 youth in Hawaiʻi filed a constitutional climate lawsuit, Navahine F. v. Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, against the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT), HDOT Director Edwin Sniffen, Governor Josh Green, and the State of Hawaiʻi. The youth plaintiffs allege that HDOT’s operation of a transportation system that results in high levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions violates their state constitutional rights, causing them significant harm and undermining their ability to “live healthful lives in Hawaiʻi now and into the future.” The youth seek to ensure HDOT fulfills the state legislature’s mandate to reduce GHG emissions and decarbonize Hawaiʻi’s transportation system as soon as possible.
TRIAL DATE: The trial is currently set for September 26, 2023. However, Defendants have filed a motion to continue (extend) the trial date by eight to twelve months and Governor Green recently requested $1 million from the legislature to fight youth plainitffs’ case by paying the mainland attorneys the State has hired to defend the case. The youth plaintiffs filed a motion asking the Court to maintain the trial date, explaining the urgency of the climate emergency and why it is vital these young Plaintiffs get their day in court..The hearing on the two motions will be held on May 24, 2023 at 1:00 pm. Youth plaintiffs are calling on folks to attend the hearing in person to show their support for making sure that these youth Plaintiffs get their day in court as soon as possible. Given that the State Legislature and the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court have recognized that Hawaiʻi is facing a “climate emergency,” there is an urgent need to timely resolve this case. The escalating harms that youth plaintiffs are already experiencing must be redressed in time to alleviate their losses and suffering and avert climate catastrophe. Having a trial date in 2023 is imperative to stop the state’s ongoing constitutional violations. A delay in the trial date would also mean that a new judge is assigned to the case (Judge Crabtree is subject to mandatory retirement in February 2024), forcing further delays as the new judge gets up to speed, and worsening the climate emergency. Climate change will not wait for the Courts and further delay further harms the youth plaintiffs. These plaintiffs should not have to wait anymore on adults. They need a trial in 2023 so that their constitutional rights are protected.