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League of Women Voters and Common Cause v. State — The Documents

This case was brought by the nonprofit organizations League of Women Voters – Hawaii and Common Cause / Hawaii. These two organizations sponsor the Rusty Scalpel Award for legislation that leaves the Legislature in a form drastically different from that in which it started.  In 2018, they sued the State of Hawaii, arguing that their 2018 Rusty Scalpel winner was enacted unconstitutionally.  S.B. 2858 started as a bill requiring annual recidivism reports by the State Department of Public Safety. At the end of session, S.B. 2858 required the State to consider hurricane shelter space when designing new public schools. The sole connection between the two bills was the bill number and title, “Relating to Public Safety.”

The Foundation is participating because, although S.B. 2858 (2018) does not involve tax, it turns out that three of the six Rusty Scalpel winners were tax bills.  The precedent that this case sets undoubtedly will apply to tax bills.  In our proposed brief, we bring up the three tax winners as additional examples of the gut-and-replace methodology that the lawsuit is trying to end.

We will be posting documents filed in the Intermediate Court of Appeals.

The Plaintiffs have applied to the Supreme Court of Hawaii to have that court take up the matter.  The matter has been briefed and oral argument is scheduled for August 5, 2020.

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