Governor urges Supreme Court to issue speedy ruling on TMT case

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. David Ige is urging the state Supreme Court to issue a quick decision on the Thirty Meter Telescope case.

"They've heard it before. We're hoping they make a speedy decision," Ige said Tuesday on Hawaii News Now Sunrise.

The governor is hoping the high court will fast track the case because the project faces a looming deadline.

"We're working toward a deadline of April 2018 to either build here on Mauna Kea or in the Canary Islands," said TMT spokesman Scott Ishikawa.

Native Hawaiian opponents are asking the high court to overturn the state Land Board's approval for the $1.4 billion project.

They believe the 18-story telescope will desecrate land sacred to Hawaiians, but supporters say it will provide scientific and economic benefits.

Kealoha Pisciotta said rushing the Supreme Court is a bad idea.

"It's not appropriate, we need the Supreme Court to take the time that they need to make sure that our constitutional protections are assured," she said.

"We're kind of tired of being forced to be on a timeline for a development that isn't even from Hawaii."

Legal experts said the high court can take anywhere from one month to a year to issue a ruling.

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