To Our Readers

By John Flanagan

Saturday, March 14, 1998

The difference
8 months make

LAST summer, the five justices of the Hawaii Supreme Court signed a statement that began: '' 'Broken Trust,' a lengthy but factually inaccurate, distorted, irresponsible opinion piece, was published in the Aug. 9 edition of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The piece's five co-authors expressly and impliedly impugned the integrity, honesty, ethics, intelligence, qualifications, competence and professionalism'' of the court.

That opinion piece called on the justices to cease selecting Bishop Estate trustees.

On Dec. 21, the Star-Bulletin reported: ''In a surprise decision released yesterday, the justices of the Hawaii Supreme Court announced that they will no longer participate in the selection of Bishop Estate trustees...

"The court said that continuing the practice 'could cause conflicts between private and official acts of the justices,' and that 'to continue involvement would promote distrust and cynicism,' and 'undermine public trust in the judiciary.' ''

On Thursday, we reported: ''The five justices of the Hawaii Supreme Court today voluntarily stepped aside from further involvement in appeals on Bishop Estate matters. The recusal order was signed by all five justices and filed late this morning at the Supreme Court Clerk's office.''

In disengaging itself from the Bishop Estate, the court has at last looked beyond what is legal and chosen instead what is right.

Bishop Estate Archive

John Flanagan is editor and publisher of the Star-Bulletin.
To reach him call 525-8612, fax to 523-8509, send
e-mail to or write to
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, Hawaii 96802.

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