Historically, settled law can give way when a committed minority heeds the justice call. The Mauna Kea protectors stand in an honorable line of those called to civil disobedience.
When Charles Lawrence’s great-grandfather fled slavery, this constituted theft under slave codes. The abolitionists who hid Great- grandfather in their homes violated the fugitive slave law.
Nelson Mandela’s and Martin King’s letters from jail, calling on citizens to resist unjust laws, are studied in ethics courses. The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution are products of citizen rejection of prior law, as are the Federal Civil Rights Laws of 1964. The protectors of the Mauna are law-makers, wholly within the tradition of the rule of law in democracies, calling on fellow citizens to consider new understandings of justice.
During our own lifetimes it was legal to deny us a job or sell us a house because of our race. People sat in, got arrested, disrupted business as usual, until the law changed.