The University of Hawai’i announced the reopening of the Mauna Kea Access Road to the public. Based on that announcement, the restrictions placed on religious practice by the Office of Mauna Kea Management — (1) all spiritual practitioners had to be present at 1:00 p.m. to ascend the Mountain, (2) the practitioners were given one hour to complete their prayers and offerings, (3) no more than ten practitioners could ascend the Mountain, (4) practitioners arriving after 1:00 p.m. could be denied access altogether, and (5) a Ranger had to accompany the practitioners — are now removed.
While the most unconstitutional restrictions have been removed, certainly in part because the TRO action was filed in Federal Court, there remain the new restrictions on access between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. that will adversely impact spiritual practitioners and others. I would not be surprised to see the final rules issued by DLNR include some provision for spiritual practitioners to ask permission to access the Mountain during the closure hours.
We are waiting to see the final actions by DLNR and others before deciding on whether to pursue the TRO or withdraw the TRO and move straight to the Preliminary Injunction. If we do move on, we can always refile the TRO if there is a development warranting such an action.
View the related Star Advertiser article, “Summit road reopened, restricted“.