Election Law Detour: Hawaii SCT Dismisses Challenge To Ted Cruz Eligibility
by Robert Thomas, Inverse Condemnation, April 25, 2016
"Election contests" in Hawaii are pretty narrow cases, and are subject to strict rules regarding subject matter jurisdiction (the Hawaii Supreme Court has original jurisdiction), content, timing,and remedy. For more, see our earlier post "HAWSCT Confirms Election Contests Are Tough!" Thus, even when an election challenge may have merit, the road is an uphill one.
But when it makes allegations like this, there's not going to be much doubt about the outcome, is there? --
...that the Republican Party is attempting to “subvert, remove, and overthrow the constitutional powers of the office of the [P]resident,” that Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is not qualified to run for President of the United States and, therefore, the Republican Party “is guilty of election fraud [by] knowingly entering an illegal candidate,” that the Office of Elections sponsors racism by serving “whites only,” and that Governor David Ige is “responsible for bigotry and discrimination being rampant within the [S]tate of Hawaii.”
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment, Smallwood v. Hawaii, No. SCED-16-0000330 at 2 (Apr. 21, 2016).
Sure enough, the court concluded that it doesn't have jurisdiction, so even "[t]aking Smallwood's allegations as true and viewing them in the light most favorable to him, Smallwood fails to demonstrate that this court has jurisdiction over his complaint or the relief that he seeks." Id. at 3-4. Election contests are cases where someone is challenging the outcome of an election, and can show that a ruling in her favor would change the outcome. And this isn't that.
The court, however, tempered justice with mercy: "The clerk of the supreme court shall process the election contest without payment of the filing fee."
PDF: Smallwood v. State of Hawaii, No. SCEC-16-0000330 (Haw. Apr. 21, 2016)