Speaker of the House Joseph M. Souki issued the following statement on the recent court ruling regarding the residency status of Speaker Emeritus Calvin Say to represent House District 20.
“I am extremely pleased that the courts have upheld the separation of powers between the Judiciary and the Legislature with its recent ruling that the state House has the exclusive power, as stated by our state Constitution, to determine the qualifications of its members. The separation of powers between our three branches of government is a cornerstone in our democratic process and Judge Nakasone’s ruling correctly determined that the court may not interfere or intrude on the exercise of legislative power granted by the state Constitution to the Legislature.”
A lawsuit brought by six voters in Palolo can’t challenge the residency of state Rep. Calvin Say. Circuit Court Judge Karen Nakasone ruled that the state House has the exclusive power to determine qualifications of its members. In a published report released by AP through the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, if courts interfere before the House investigates a complaint against Say or exercises its power, it “would not only be unconstitutional, but also premature, unwise and inefficacious,” Nakasone said.