Lawsuit against Indefinite Emergency Extensions


JUNE 9, 2020

For Our Rights along with 16 other plaintiffs filed a complaint in federal district court against Governor Ige for Emergency Orders Related to the Covid-19 pandemic issued on March 4, 2020, claiming constitutional rights violations and a question of state law based on the 60-day provision within our emergency statute. This complaint was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by Marc J. Victor with Attorney’s For Freedom.


June 12, 2020

A Motion for a Preliminary Injunction was also filed by the Plaintiffs


June 25, 2020

To avoid interfering with a possible win for the Carmichael case by having our hearings combined, For Our Rights decided to withdraw our complaint without prejudice. The judge ruled in favor of the State on the Carmichael case and For Our Rights began drafting a complaint for state court. We felt challenging the 60-day issue was our strongest chance at a win, so we changed directions but with intent to bring our federal case back in again in the future.

September 24, 2020

For Our Rights moved their case from federal to state court, filing the following complaint in the Fifth Circuit, narrowing in on the argument that the Governor does not have the authority to deprive the plaintiff’s of their constitutional rights with unilateral power beyond 60 days according to HRS Chapter 127A-14(d)


October 8, 2020

The State filed a Motion to Dismiss.


November 9, 2020

For Our Rights filed an Opposition to the State’s Motion to Dismiss.


November 17, 2020

The case was heard on November 17, 2020 and Judge Kathleen Watanabe ruled in favor of the state, claiming that the law should be interpreted in a manner which would allow for extensions to the time limit regardless of the unambiguous language.


January 18, 2021

For Our Rights Filed a Notice of Appeal to overturn the decision made by the Fifth Circuit Judge, Kathleen Watanabe, which has allowed the Governor to ignore the 60 day limit of power placed in our Hawai’i Emergency Statute.

July 7, 2021

The state submitted their Answer Brief in response to the Opening Brief for the state appeal filed by Jody Broaddus, attorney for For Our Rights.

July 30, 2021

For Our Rights filed their Reply Brief in response to the State’s Answer and now the next step will be a decision on the appeal by a 3 judge panel.

February 25, 2022

For Our Rights filed an appeal to the Intermediate Court of Appeals after judgment was made in the Fifth Circuit court on Kauai that the language of our emergency statute, HRS 127A-14(d), grants the defendant, Governor David Ige the legal authority to issue supplemental proclamations to extend a state of emergency beyond the 60 day time frame. For Our Rights attorney, Marc J. Victor of Attorney’s For Freedom argued to the 3 judge panel on January 26, 2022 that this simply cannot stand as such since it is a violation of the non-delegation doctrine and the separation of powers.  The judges handed down their decision to uphold the lower court ruling on February 25, 2022.

Although we did not win this case on appeal, this lawsuit created significant controversy and conversation that ultimatley resulted in the reformation of our current Emergency Statute as well as new legislation to further clarify the extent to which a governor and/or mayor has authority to maintain unilateral power during a state of emergency.