H.B. NO.



S.D. 1
















SECTION 1. Section 11-118.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]11-118.5[]] Constitutional amendments, proposed. Any constitutional amendment proposed by the legislature shall include in final form the exact constitutional ratification question to be printed on a ballot. The constitutional ratification question shall be phrased in a manner to enable voters to express their choice on the constitutional amendment by providing a "yes" or "no" response. The language and meaning of a constitutional amendment and a constitutional ratification question shall be [clear and it shall be neither misleading nor deceptive.] as simple, concise, and direct as possible considering the complexity of the subject matter."

SECTION 2. Section 602-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Except as otherwise provided, the supreme court shall have jurisdiction and powers as follows:

(1) To hear and determine all questions of law, or of mixed law and fact, which are properly brought before it by application for a writ of certiorari to the intermediate appellate court or by transfer as provided in this chapter;

(2) To answer, in its discretion, any question of law reserved by a circuit court, the land court, or the tax appeal court, or any question or proposition of law certified to it by a federal district or appellate court if the supreme court shall so provide by rule;

(3) To exercise original jurisdiction in all questions arising under writs directed to courts of inferior jurisdiction and returnable before the supreme court, or if the supreme court consents to receive the case arising under writs of mandamus directed to public officers to compel them to fulfill the duties of their offices; and [such] any other original jurisdiction as may be expressly conferred by law;

(4) To issue writs of habeas corpus, or orders to show cause as provided by chapter 660, returnable before the supreme court or a circuit court, and any justice may issue writs of habeas corpus or [such] any orders to show cause, returnable as above stated;

(5) To make or issue any order or writ necessary or appropriate in aid of its jurisdiction, and in such case, any justice may issue a writ or an order to show cause returnable before the supreme court; [and]

(6) To make and award [such] any judgments, decrees, orders and mandates[,]; issue [such] any executions and other processes[,]; and do [such] any other acts and take [such] any other steps as may be necessary to carry into full effect the powers [which] that are or shall be given to it by law or for the promotion of justice in matters pending before it[.]; and

(7) To issue, upon a written request by the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, or both, a written opinion of the justices of the supreme court, or a majority thereof, stating whether a proposed amendment to the Hawaii State Constitution and the corresponding constitutional ratification question is simple, concise, and direct as required by section 11-118.5; provided that:

(A) Within fourteen days of receipt of a written request for a written opinion pursuant to this paragraph, the supreme court shall render and deliver a written opinion to the requester or requesters; and

(B) Any decision established in a written opinion rendered pursuant to this paragraph shall not be appealable."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


Report Title:

Hawaii State Supreme Court; Written Opinions; Constitutional Amendments; Ratification Question



Requires the language and meaning of any proposed constitutional amendment and ratification question to be as simple, concise, and direct as possible considering the complexity of the subject matter. Allows the presiding officers of the Legislature to request a written opinion of the Supreme Court regarding the legality of a proposed amendment to the Hawaii State Constitution and the corresponding constitutional ratification question. Requires the court to provide a written opinion within 14 days of receipt of the request. Prohibits any appeal of a written opinion. (SD1)




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