Sunday, September 15, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, December 21, 2018
Supreme Court Releases Opinion Striking Down HSTA Property Tax ConAm
By News Release @ 2:35 AM :: 2307 Views :: Education K-12, Labor, Taxes





STATE OF HAWAI‘I; SCOTT T. NAGO, in his capacity as Chief Election Officer, Respondents.



DECEMBER 20, 2018


The right of the people to shape the way in which they are governed through free and fair elections is the basis of our democratic society. At no time is this dynamic more pronounced than when the public is called upon to approve revisions to the Hawai‘i Constitution, the foundational document on which our state government is based. In order for the electorate to effectively exercise this most basic of rights, however, a ballot must be capable of rendering a knowing and deliberate expression of voter choice. Thus, when a constitutional amendment is presented to the electorate for ratification, both our constitution and statutes require that the question posed to voters must be clear and neither misleading nor deceptive. And it is this court’s duty to preserve the integrity of the electoral process by invalidating a question that fails to meet this standard.

In this case, several counties of the State of Hawai‘i challenged a ballot question authored by the state legislature that would approve an amendment granting the State the authority to impose a surcharge on investment real property. The challengers argue that the ballot question was unclear and likely to mislead or deceive an average voter. Upon review, this court determined that the ballot question as written did not comply with the requirement that its language and meaning be clear and not misleading. We accordingly declared the ballot question invalid, stating at the time that this opinion would follow. We now elaborate as to our reasoning.



The Hawai‘i Constitution vests “broad authority” in the legislature to propose amendments to its provisions to be ratified by the electorate. Kahalekai v. Doi, 60 Haw. 324, 338, 590 P.2d 543, 552-53 (1979). “But such a change must stand on its own merits” and “cannot fly under false colors.” Askew v. Firestone, 421 So.2d 151, 156 (Fla. 1982). As the legislature recognized in enacting HRS § 11-118.5, the provisions of our constitution are of such foundational importance that the utmost care must be taken to apprise citizens of the effect of their vote on a proposed constitutional amendment. When the language or effect of a proposed amendment or its corresponding ballot question is unclear, misleading, or deceptive, the ballot is not capable of generating the “knowing and deliberate expression of voter choice” necessary for ratification. Kahalekai, 60 Haw. at 333, 590 P.2d at 550. The ballot question in the present case is flawed in not presenting the information necessary to produce such a choice, and this court thus invalidated the ballot question in accordance to our law.

read … 44 page Court Opinion 

Background Oct 20, 2018: ConAm: Supreme Court Strikes Down HSTA Poison Pill


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

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

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

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

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

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 Families for Educational Choice

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

Judgepedia Hawaii

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 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

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

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

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