The Hawaii Constitution was framed by a Constitutional Convention under Act 334, Session Laws of Hawaii 1949. It was adopted by the people at the election held on November 7, 1950, and was deemed amended when three propositions submitted to the people in accordance with the Act of Congress approved March 18, 1959, 73 Stat 4, Public Law 86-3, were adopted by the people at the election held on June 27, 1959. As so amended, it was accepted, ratified, and confirmed by Congress by the Act of March 18, 1959. It went into effect on August 21, 1959, upon the issuance of a presidential proclamation admitting the state of Hawaii into the Union.
The Constitution has since been amended a number of times in accordance with proposals adopted by the legislature or by constitutional convention and ratified by the people. The source of these amendments is indicated in the source notes immediately following the text of the amended or new section.
On November 7, 1978, amendments to the Constitution proposed by the Constitutional Convention of 1978 were presented to the electorate for its approval. The Lieutenant Governor's computer report showed that all of the proposed amendments passed by the necessary constitutional margin. However, the Supreme Court of Hawaii in Kahalekai v. Doi, 60 H. 324, 590 P.2d 543 (1979), held that a number of the proposed amendments were not validly ratified. The revisor has deleted from the Constitution these invalid amendments and added explanatory notes to the sections concerned. This deletion has been done under the authority of Resolution No. 29 of the 1978 Constitutional Convention authorizing the revisor "to effect such necessary rearrangement, renumbering and technical changes of the sections within the articles of the State Constitution, as may be affected, for proper form and arrangement and proper order in the State Constitution in the event that any or some of the amendments to the State Constitution proposed by the Constitutional Convention of Hawaii of 1978 are not ratified by the electorate."
In addition to the abovementioned amendments, removed from the text of the Constitution, there appear to be other proposed amendments that may have failed of ratification. A number of unspecified amendments, involving technical, stylistic, and incidental changes, were submitted for approval by the electorate under Question 34. As to these, the Court stated:
The question of whether any amendment submitted for approval by Question No. 34 was in fact approved ... dependents on its effect upon substantive law. If the amendment is purely stylistic and technical in nature, and does not alter the sense, meaning or effect of any provision of the Constitution, it was approved by the electorate and has become a part of the revised Constitution. On the other hand, if the amendment alters the sense, meaning or effect of any provision of the Constitution, it was not ratified and is not effective to change the language of the Constitution. Obviously, we are not now in a position to make these line by line determinations.
The revisor does not consider that the authority granted under Resolution No. 29 embraces the elimination of proposed amendments as having failed of ratification where the issue has not been adjudicated. Thus the text of the Constitution includes all the proposed amendments submitted for ratification under Question 34. As an aid to the readers, however, an attempt has been made to identify all such amendments--except those obviously purely technical and stylistic and clearly nonsubstantive (which have been ratified)--and explanatory notes have been appended thereto.