News Release from Office of Rep Bob McDermott November 27, 2013
State Rep. Bob McDermott has filed a new motion in court to ask the Judge to reconsider a serious constitutional issue. McDermott believes that the plain language and the people's intent in the 1998 Constitutional Amendment forbid the legislature from expanding the definition of marriage under the “General Powers” clause of the State of Hawaii constitution.
McDermott said, "This is a serious issue, we have case law and precedent on our side. We shall fully litigate this through the appeals process. The point here is that the people via their 1998 constitutional amendment vote can not be disenfranchised by the whim of the legislature. " The motion is set for a hearing with Judge Sakamoto again on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 at 10 a.m. We also asked for a delay in the issuance of the marriage licenses, the AG fought this delay. So if we prevail, there will be quite a mess for the AG to clean up after the issuance's of licenses on December 2nd, 2013.
McDermott said, "What some people fail to realize is that we won on two of the three issues contested in the second hearing, they were standing and the language of the amendment, respectively. Further, at some point, the court is going to have to deal with what the intent of the voter as gleaned from the publicly funded Voter information guides that were mailed to every voter and advertised in the papers. The State of Hawaii responsible for this and it is an issue than cannot be swept under the rug. ”
The 1998 amendment reads: The legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples. On November 3, 1998, Hawaii voters approved the amendment by a vote of 69.2–28.6%, and the state legislature exercised its power to ban same-sex marriage.
However, the people were told by the office of elections in an aggressive 4 week campaign that the meaning of the amendment was the following:
Meaning of a Yes Vote
A "yes" vote would add a new provision to the constitution that would give the Legislature the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples only (emphasis added). The Legislature could then pass a law that would limit marriage to a man and a woman, overturning the recent Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage.
The point here is that the people thought they were voting on reserving marriage to opposite-sex couples only. Settled US Supreme Court Law affirms that the will or intent of the people on a Constitutional Amendment, when reasonably inferred, supersedes and subordinate statutory language or committee reports. This amendment clearly restricted the power of the legislature in this realm, not expanded it.
McDermott said, 'The people spoke on this issue in 1998 in a clear clarion voice. This is not what they want as confirmed by a recent survey conducted by QEV Analytics showed that 70% of Hawaii's voters believed that the definition of marriage is something that the People should decide.
State Representative Bob McDermott (R) Ewa Beach, is a former Marine and Gulf War Vet, McDermott never backs down from a challenge. He was one of the organizing forces for a coalition of citizens, politicians, businessmen, and clergy who tried to stop this legislative jam job now known as SB1, HD1. McDermott, a father of 8 children has been married for 27 years.
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