Saturday, February 24, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, April 27, 2013
Does Hawaii Constitution Prohibit Gut and Replace?
By News Release @ 12:16 PM :: 4162 Views :: Hawaii State Government

Hawaii Supreme Court and Constitutional Requirements for Bills

News Release from Senator Laura Thielen April 24, 2013

There are several Hawaii Court decisions on the Constitutional mandate that the contents of a bill must contain only one subject, and the subject of the bill must be expressed in its title.

I’m reviewing them to prepare for the response to the Petition we recently received, to reject gut and replace and Frankenstein bills.  FYI, regarding the response, I only post about matters of public record.  Caucus discussion is confidential; private discussions are as well.  So I don’t post about my discussions in those settings, and limit comments here to public discussions and my personal perspectives.

I’m still digesting the information from the cases.  But I read two things worth sharing now.

One: our Supreme Court has overturned Hawaii laws, and portions of laws, on the ground that the bills violated this Constitutional mandate.  However, they have also upheld more laws than they overturned.   

Two: while there’s no bright line drawn by the Court, they look at the purpose behind the Amendment when evaluating a complaint.  There is a great statement on the purpose that was quoted by the Court:

“It may therefore be assumed as settled that the purpose of these provisions was:

first, to prevent hodge-podge or ‘logrolling’ legislation;

second, to prevent surprise or fraud upon the legislature by means of provisions in the bills of which the titles gave no intimation; and

third, to fairly appraise the people, through such publication of legislative proceedings as is usually made, of the subjects of legislation that are being considered, in order that they may have opportunity of being heard thereon, by petition or otherwise, if they shall so desire.”

Cooley’s Constitutional Limitations.

The third purpose – protecting the public’s right to weigh in on a bill – is well stated. I’m going to cover that more in a later post.

The second purpose – protecting legislators from unwittingly voting for a bill – is less obvious, but recognizes that Legislators may not physically be able to read every amended version of every bill.

I had no idea what the first purpose meant.  So I Googled “logrolling.”  

“Log rolling is a tactic used by legislators to tack on favored bills to proposed legislation without conducting serious debate on its issues.

It may be accomplished by a legislator agreeing to vote on another legislator’s bill in exchange for the other legislator’s vote on his/her own favored bill. A concession may be made to another party on a less important topic in exchange for that other party’s support on a more vital issue.

Another tactic is to include several sub-bills in one bill when passage of them individually is not possible.”

Hmm.  This calls to mind the amendments to HB 252, where over 40 pages on geothermal development was “amended” to a 4-page bill on Native Hawaiian Roll Commission.  The original geothermal language was in another bill that had died in Committee.  I wrote about this in an earlier post.

We’re going to post the Hawaii Supreme Court cases on the Resource Page in a day or two (my Legislative Aide is out sick right now, so it’ll be after she recovers).  In the meantime, thoughts on the topic are welcome.


MORE: Does Our Constitution Prohibit Gut and Replace?

RELATED: Petition Lists 7 Gut and Replace Bills, 11 Frankenstein Bills


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii