Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Constitutional Law and States of Emergency: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Robert Thomas @ 11:59 PM :: 889 Views :: COVID-19

Upcoming Judiciary History Center Program: "Constitutional Law and States of Emergency: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic" - Wed., June 17, 2020, 5:30pm HST

by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation, June 10, 2020  (see update below)

Next Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at 5:30pm Hawaii Time, we'll be speaking for the King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center about "Constitutional Law and States of Emergency: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic."

This is a one-hour program, open to the public, where we will take a dive into Hawaii's emergency preparedness and response laws, how Hawaii's courts have treated emergencies, plagues, pandemics, and quarantines in the past (we have a long history there), and respond to (moderated) audience questions.

Space limited to 100 attendees, although it will be recorded and posted on the Center's YouTube channel. Here's the program description:

The King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center invites you to join our live webinar with attorney Robert H. Thomas as he shares his expertise about constitutional rights and civil liberties during the COVID-19 pandemic. He will share lessons from Hawaiʻi’s history of public health laws during epidemics, as well as explain how courts in other jurisdictions are currently evaluating legal claims related to the Fifth Amendment.

The webinar will conclude with a live Q&A. Space is limited to 100 webinar attendees.

Register to learn about Robert's responses to popular questions that arose during quarantine, including:

  • Can government officials require me to wear a mask?
  • Can the police keep me from going to the beach?
  • Can Hawaiʻi treat residents and tourists differently?

To join the live webinar, please register using the sign-up button below. Or, visit our Youtube channel to view the program's live stream feed on June 17, 2020 at 5:30 pm. The webinar will be recorded and posted to our Youtube and Facebook pages.

Register here.

Hope you can join us.

PS - once the ongoing situation is over, when you have a chance, you really should pay an in-person visit to the Center's facility, which is on the first floor of Aliiolani Hale, directly underneath the Supreme Court's courtroom. There's a historic trial courtroom, and displays on Hawaii's legal history.

  *   *   *   *   *

Links And Materials From Judiciary History Center Program: Constitutional Law and States of Emergency: Lessons from Hawaii's Judicial History for the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation, June 17, 2020

Here are the links and other materials which we spoke about in this afternoon's program for the King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center, "Constitutional Law and States of Emergency: Lessons from Hawaii's Judicial History for the COVID-19 Pandemic."

SPAM®: Every Hawaii resident's Plan B

Home Building & Loan Assoc. v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398, 425 (1934):

"Emergency does not create power. Emergency does not increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions imposed upon power granted or reserved. The Constitution was adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the federal government and its limitations of the power of the states were not determined in the light of emergency and they are not altered by emergency. What power was thus granted and what limitations were thus imposed are questions which have always been, and always will be, the subject of close examination under our constitutional system."

This is not a war: United States v. Pac. R.R., 120 U.S. 227 (1887): during the Civil War, the Union Army blew up railroad bridges "to prevent the advance of the enemy." No compensation because the destruction of the bridges was a "military necessity." "The destruction or injury of private property in battle, or in the bombardment of cities and towns, and in many other ways in the war, had to be borne by the sufferers alone as one of its consequences."

The King v. Tong Lee, 4 Haw. 335 (Kingdom 1880) (en banco): Hawaii Supreme Court upholds restrictions on commercial laundries in Honolulu's Chinatown deferring to the government's assertion that doing so was necessary to preserve the public health. Over- or under- inclusiveness not a problem.

Gibson v. The Steamer Madras, 5 Haw. 109 (Kingdom 1884). "Quarantine" narrowly defined, and although ship was in a de facto quarantine (held offshore for health reasons, not allowed to land for two months), it did not qualify as "quarantine" as that term was defined in a Kingdom regulation that required ship owners to pay for the costs of quarantine.

Hawaii's emergency preparation and response statute

(Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 127A-1 et seq.)

Section 127A-14(d), the "automatic termination" provision, which imposes a "pull date" on all declarations of emergency:

(d) A state of emergency and a local state of emergency shall terminate automatically sixty days after the issuance of a proclamation of a state of emergency or local state of emergency, respectively, or by a separate proclamation of the governor or mayor, whichever occurs first.

Two lawsuits have been filed in U.S. District Court challenging the governor's supplemental orders under the automatic termination provision (among other claims). See here and here for the complaints.

Many more legal challenges to coronavirus shut-down orders have been filed nationwide. Here is a sample of the cases: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

The program was recorded, and we'll post that when available.


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute


Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii


DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group


Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii



National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today


Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii



Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii


SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii