Friday, December 19, 2014

Hawaii Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments On Challenge To Marriage Equality Law

Yesterday the Hawaii Supreme Court heard oral arguments in McDermott v. Abercrombie, a case challenging the state legislature's authority to enact the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013. The Court, on its website, summarizes the issues:
Respondents argue, inter alia, that the Hawai`i Marriage Equality Act is unconstitutional because in 1998, the people of Hawai`i voted to amend article 1, section 23 of the Hawai`i Constitution to state that “the legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.” Respondents argue that the intent of this amendment was to constitutionally reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples, so the legislature was not authorized to pass the Hawai`i Marriage Equality Act. In response, Petitioners argue that article 1, section 23 allows the legislature to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples, but does not require it to do so. Petitioners also argue that Respondents lacked standing to bring this lawsuit.
An audio recording of the full oral arguments is available from the Court's website. AP reports further on the case.