Hawaii Supreme Court Achieves a Higher Caliber of Juris-Stupid

Hawaii Supreme Court Achieves a Higher Caliber of Juris-Stupid

By Steve Pomper

Hawaii Supreme Court (Aliiolani Hale 2011 by Don Ramey Logan.jpg, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)

You’re a child playing a game and some kids break the rules they don’t like. Would you play with them again? Could you ever trust them? Now, read on and tell me the difference between the Hawaii Supreme Court’s (HSC) recent ruling and those kids not following the rules?

As an aside, I’m wondering, as parents, how these justices would handle their own children if they refused to follow the rules while playing a game? What if one of the cherubs decides while playing baseball that you must tag him twice before he’s out. He may disagree with the current rule or even argue for a rule change, but that doesn’t change the rule. He’s bound by the rules as they exist, right?

Right, unless you are the HSC, then, apparently, you may ignore the established rules and just make up your own. 

Reuters wrote about a unanimous (5-0) ruling in which “The Hawaii Supreme Court has upheld the state’s laws that generally prohibit carrying a firearm in public without a license—and in the process criticized the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings that have expanded gun rights.” [link added]

Hold up a sec. SCOTUS’s Bruen decision did not “expand gun rights.” Our natural rights don’t contract or expand; they are constant. Only the degree of infringement changes. If anything, the ruling rescued Americans’ rights. The Second Amendment (2A) protects so-called “gun rights,” by recognizing the people’s God-given, natural rights to self-defense and to life. But these justices do not like that rule, so, like the cheating children above, they don’t follow it.


Justice Todd Eddins, who wrote this anti-liberty abomination, said, “Under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, ‘states retain the authority to require individuals have a license before carrying firearms in public.’”


“Under the… Second Amendment…” the state may infringe on the Second Amendment?

I must have missed the asterisk that explains that exception.

According to Reason.com, Hawaiians need “a license to carry, which historically has been essentially impossible to obtain,” which betrays this disingenuous Court.

Pat Droney at Law Enforcement Today wrote, “Hawaii police chiefs in charge of issuing concealed carry permits only issued six in 21 years.”

Once again, I ask, do people have a right to life without access to the most practical means of self-defense, a firearm? Of course not.

Apparently, the HSC is pretending the Constitution doesn’t apply to its state. I guess I missed the day in the police academy when they covered the “because I said so” supremacy clause.

This atrocious court decision stems from the 2017 arrest of Christopher Wilson, a Hawaiian citizen who dared to exercise his self-defense rights (to keep and bear arms) under the plain meaning of the U.S. Constitution’s 2A, the Hawaiian State Constitution’s Art I, Sec 17 (adopting the 2A text verbatim), and SCOTUS precedents: McDonald, Heller, Caetano, and Bruen

There are severe consequences to our nation for any government entity that chooses not to adhere to the rule of law—especially a court, including Americans’ diminished respect for the law.

Calibre Press’s Jim Glennon wrote, “If government entities openly defy their own laws, thumb their noses at state and federal statutes, disregard court decisions and dismiss rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States, what should we expect from everyday citizens?

“Adherence to local laws?

“Cooperation with the police?

“Civil obedience?

“A reduction in crime?


“We should expect the exact opposite of course, which is already evident and in plain view throughout the country.”

As alluded to above, a truly mindboggling aspect of this case is not only the Court’s ignoring of the U.S. Constitution but also its disregard for Hawaii’s own preeminent legal document. The Hawaii State Constitution’s Art. I, Sec. 17, “Right to Bear Arms,” mirrors the 2A’s text. The HSC seems to argue that the state of Hawaii is unique among states somehow exempting it from adhering the U.S. Constitution.  

The court touted its “militia-centric view” of the 2A. Essentially that the framers didn’t intend for this enumerated right to apply to “the people,” as individuals. So, does “the people,” as individuals, apply to the First, Fourth, Ninth, or Tenth Amendments but not to the Second? If yes, how does that work?

Perhaps Hawaiian 2A supporters should form militias, so they can exercise their rights? Oh, wait, the HSC believes only governments can form militias, which means individuals have no right to self-defense—to preserve life. So, the HSC argues that a new nation that just threw off British colonial government oppression would restrict the keeping and bearing of arms to government militias only? That is absurd.   

The HSC spouts nonsense about some historical disqualifying disconnect between the two eras—then and now (1787 and 2024), which it believes renders the Constitution invalid where they disagree. But The Constitution of the State of Hawaii was ratified, including the people’s right to bear arms, in 1959! Not exactly ancient history.  

The HSC declared its disagreement with SCOTUS’s Bruen decision, which is fine. Disagreements are within the bounds of the rules. But Justice Eddins is stretching a mere disagreement to an all-out declaration of exemption for Hawaii from the laws of the land. How is that not seditious? Like the metaphorical children’s game above, how can the HSC be counted on to make trustworthy decisions on any issues it disagrees with?   

It’s not that the HSC justices simply made a bad ruling. There are many various supreme court (federal and state) decisions that leave Americans disappointed or upset. In fact, Eddins finds time to also insult SCOTUS’s, irrelevant to this case, Dobb’s Decision

These unserious justices have equal access to what words and phrases mean now and meant then, but they ignore this crucial information. Instead of making an intellectually honest argument, they de facto nullify a U.S. Supreme Court ruling—they don’t like.

These days, when talking about protecting your 2A rights, it seems the only place in Hawaii you’ll find intellectual honesty is somewhere over the rainbow.  

I wrote an NPA article about this beautiful but rogue state, warning cops that the Hawaiian government wasn’t only gun-stupid toward its citizens’ rights but it also refuses to obey a federal law enacted specifically to protect cops.  

Hawaii is our favorite place to visit, and my wife and I have done so many times, including just last year. But I also know Hawaii is one of the Union’s most anti-2A states. They refuse to recognize the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), which allows qualified active and retired law enforcement officers to carry firearms in all U.S. states and territories. Criminals like to vacation too. 

I wrote, “Hawaii has decided that the federal act designed to make laws uniform across all states and territories in the interest of officer safety does not apply in their state.”

And, “[Mike] Wood [Police1.com] warns even LEOSA-qualified officers, ‘The constitutionality of such a move [not recognizing LEOSA] by the state of Hawaii is certainly suspect, but while the legal battle is waged, officers should be aware that they may be subject to legal jeopardy and may unwittingly become pawns in a political chess game if they don’t comply with the Hawaii guidelines.’” In other words, the HSC has suspended your God-given right to self-defense in that U.S. state.

It’s strange that, with all the radical lefties incessantly crying, “no one is above the law,’ apparently, we have a state whose highest court proclaims they are indeed above the Law—of the Land.

While other blue states like New York and California resorted to passing indirect, 2A-infringing laws in an attempt to thwart SCOTUS, blue Hawaii does those things, too, but also unapologetically flips off SCOTUS and their own state constitution.

Imagine if every state chose which laws to and not to follow. Oh, wait. Some are doing that now—ever hear of sanctuary cities/states? And we can see how well that’s working out.

Glennon also observed, “When the ‘powers that be’ flout laws, disregard court orders, snub decisions by higher courts and selectively enforce state statutes, the police are forced to live in a state of both frustration and confusion.”

The HSC justices are presumably learned, accomplished attorneys with a scholarly knowledge of the law and legal history. The justices are not supposed to explain their personal feelings about how the “Spirit of Aloha” exempts Hawaii from adhering to the Constitution. They’re supposed to explain how their ruling conforms with the 2A.

Eddins, donning his rainbow-colored glasses, also wrote this delightful fantasy: “The spirit of Aloha clashes with a federally-mandated lifestyle that lets citizens walk around with deadly weapons during day-to-day activities. The history of the Hawaiian Islands does not include a society where armed people move about the community to possibly combat the deadly aims of others.” That’s not legalese; that’s radical politics 101, folks.

Justice Eddins also said, “the United States Supreme Court does not strip states of all sovereignty to pass traditional police power laws designed to protect people.”

Tell me how, exactly, does disarming law abiding citizens “protect people,” make them safer? Society has nothing to fear from responsible gun owners.   

The HSC also needs to explain its irrational citing of a phrase from a nearly two-decades-old TV show, The Wire. In arguing their official legal case, they actually quoted a make-believe character who said, “The thing about the old days, they the old days.”

Jacob Sullum at Reason.com wrote, “Which respected jurist or scholar made that last observation? Eddins is quoting Slim Charles, a fictional drug gang enforcer in The Wire, which is a great TV show but not necessarily the best guide for judges charged with protecting the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Mandating the people apply for a government license, ask for permission, to exercise a God-given, constitutionally protected right, is ludicrous. The Constitution was written to restrict government and protect individual liberty. The HSC argues that the 2A contains a latent suicide clause that enables and assures its own destruction?

After all, requiring permission from the government to exercise the 2A’s natural right of self-defense is no different from requiring a license to exercise the First Amendment’s natural rights to freedom of religion, speech, the press, and assembly. 

The anti-self-defense ideologue Eddins further blathered about the wording of the 2A. “We read those words differently than the current United States Supreme Court,’ Eddins wrote. ‘We hold that in Hawaii there is no state constitutional right to carry a firearm in public.”

Perhaps Justice Eddins missed that day in constitutional law when the professor taught why those last two inane, gun-stupid sentences don’t matter—not even a little