Fall 1981 Home   Newsletters

Spring 1982

Summer 1982

League Wins Reapportionment Suit (Anne Lee)
Citizen Service Brochure Planned (Rhoda Miller)
Come to State Council
National Issues Considered
LWV/Hawaii Proposed Budget 1982-83
Legislative Update
Maui League Gains Provisional Status
Kauai Lobbies for General Plan Changes
Honolulu Gets New Home
Hilo to Undertake New Studies
Action Alert

League Wins Reapportionment Suit

Based on the arguments so forcefully put before the court by League attorney Peter Herman (assisted by Welcome Fawcett and Chuck Hurd) a three-judge federal panel handed down its order affirming League's position in the reapportionment suit. Issuing the order only one day after the trial on March 24, Judges Richard A. Chambers, Samuel King, and Spencer Williams said:

  1. As it applies to the State Senate and House, the 1981 plan's deviation in the number of registered voters per elected official between the districts violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

  2. As it applies to the State Senate and House, the plan fails to properly define and calculate a permissible population basis as required by the Equal Protection Clause and Burns v Richardson (1966).

  3. The State has not met their burden of showing that "the distribution of registered voters approximates distribution of state citizens or another permissible population base." (Burns) 4. As it applies to the State Congressional districts, the plan violates both Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The court will now appoint a Master or Masters to oversee the work which must be done to insure a constitutional reapportionment plan for Hawaii. The parties to the case have been ordered to submit names and the court will select from those suggestions. This will, no doubt, be accomplished by early April. Then the Master or Masters will determine whether a new plan can be drawn up in time for the 1982 elections. If so, the Master or Masters will submit a new plan to the court for its approval. If there is not enough time then the court will take under consideration other forms of interim relief.

We in the League can take real pride in the instrumental role which we have taken in this case. The decision is a momentous one for the people of Hawaii for it means that we will have a fair and equitable reapportionment plan that is constitutional. Our role in this case is in the finest tradition of League work - insuring that our government represents us and remains open to our participation. NOW is the time to tell your friends about this longstanding interest on the part of the League, how our current activity benefits all in Hawaii, and how they can join us for future activity.

From Hanalei to Hilo Bay, you wonderful members have responded with support for the costs we have incurred in the reapportionment case. Thanks to all of you.

Anne Lee
Government Issues

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