This page will be updated as our lawsuit progresses through the courts. Be sure to check back periodically for the latest information.

As of September 5, 2018

Democracy works best when everyone participates, and everyone’s voice is heard.

But Hawaii legislators regularly cut people out of their conversations on key issues — in clear violation of our State Constitution.

That’s why Common Cause Hawaii and the League of Women Voters of Honolulu filed a lawsuit against the Hawaii State Legislature. We demand they stop using “gut and replace.”

Gut and replace” is as ugly as it sounds.

Lawmakers wait until the last minute to strip a bill of its original contents, stuff the bill with something completely different, and then push it through without the required public or legislative review.

In the past five years, legislators used “gut and replace” to transform conservation, health care and tax relief for low-income people into bills that helped the private sector and special interest groups.

This year, they effectively gutted a prison reform bill and replaced it with language that requires the State to consider, but not necessarily meet, hurricane resistant criteria when designing and constructing new schools.

Enough is enough.

Once a year, the League and Common Cause give the Rusty Scalpel Award to the worst case of gut and replace.

But spotlight and shame has not curbed this deceptive practice. Litigation is the next step.

Everyone, especially our lawmakers, should respect and abide by our State Constitution. Nobody is above the law.


Complaint 9/5/18

Press release


Civil Beat Law Center For The Public Interest (additional court filings)

Recent news stories:

Colleen Hanabusa Is Now The Legislature’s Attorney In Case Against The State –Civil Beat 11/29/18

Editorial: Stop practice of ‘gut and replace’ –Star Advertiser 9/13/18

Get Rid Of ‘Gut And Replace’ Legislating –Civil Beat 9/10/18

Nonprofits Sue Hawaii Over ‘Deceptive’ Gut-And-Replace Legislative Practice –Civil Beat 9/5/18

Groups sue to stop ‘gut and replace’ at Hawaii Legislature –Associated Press 9/5/18

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Maui Council-Manager System