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State's response to Star-Advertiser lawsuit

State's response to Star-Advertiser lawsuit

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Published by Craig Gima
Gov. Neil Abercrombie responds to a Star-Advertiser lawsuit seeking the disclosure of the names of judicial candidates.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie responds to a Star-Advertiser lawsuit seeking the disclosure of the names of judicial candidates.

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Published by: Craig Gima on Sep 13, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/13/2011

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DAVIDM.LOUIEAttorneyGeneralROBYNB.CHUNCHARLEENM.AINADeputyAttorneysGeneral425QueenStreetHonolulu,Hawaii96813Telephone:(808)586-1292216236611899
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AttorneysforDefendantNeilAbercrombie,GovernoroftheStateofHawaiiINTHECIRCUITCOURTOFTHEFIRSTCIRCUITSTATEOFHAWAIIOAHUPUBLICATIONS,INC.,)dbaHonoluluStar-Advertiser,)
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Plaintiffs,vs.NEILABERCROMBIE,inhisofficialcapacityasGovernoroftheStateofHawaii,andDOEGOVERNMENTALAGENCIES1-10,Defendants.CIVILNO.11-1-1871-08KKSDEFENDANTGOVERNORNEILABERCROMBIE'SANSWERTOCOMPLAINT;EXHIBIT1;CERTIFICATEOFSERVICEDEFENDANTGOVERNORNEILABERCROMBIE'SANSWERTOCOMPLAINTNeilAbercrombie,inhisofficialcapacityasGovernoroftheStateofHawaii("Governor"),byandthroughDavidM.Louie,AttorneyGeneral,StateofHawaii,andRobynB.ChunandCharleenM.Aina,DeputyAttorneysGeneral,StateofHawaii,answerstheComplaintfiledonAugust23,2011(\\Complaint"),asfollows:
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FIRSTDEFENSE:(AffirmativeDefensesofConfidentiality,FrustrationofGovernmentPurpose,andDiscretionaryAuthority)1.TheGovernoraversthataccesstothelistofnomineespresentedtohimbytheJudicialSelectionCommission
("JSC")
fromwhichheappointedAssociateJusticeSabrinaMcKenna("List")isrestrictedbecausetogether,articleVI,section4oftheStateConstitution,JSCRule5,andHaw.Rev.Stat.
§§
92F-13(3),92F-13(4)and92F-19(b)protectitfromdisclosure,andfurtherbecausedisclosingtheList'scontentswouldfrustratethejudicialappointmentprocessthat
is
exclusivelyfortheJSCandtheGovernortocomplete.2.Haw.Rev.Stat.
§
92F-11(a)oftheUniformInformationPracticesAct,("UIPA"),Haw.Rev.Stat.ch.92F,entitled"Affirmativeagencydisclosureresponsibilities,"provides:\\(a)Allgovernmentrecordsareopentopublicinspectionunlessaccessisrestrictedorclosedbylaw."Emphasisadded.3.ArticleVI,section3oftheStateConstitutionmakestheJSCandtheGovernorresponsiblefortheappointmentoftheState'sSupremeCourtjustices,andthejudgesoftheIntermediateCourtofAppealsandthecircuitcourts.ArticleVI,section4oftheStateConstitutionspecifiesthatthe"deliberationsofthe[JSC]shallbeconfidential."
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4.JSCRule5whichhastheforceandeffectoflawpursuanttoarticleVI,section4oftheStateConstitution,prescribesthat"the[JSC's]proceedingsmustbeconfidential[andtherefore]allcommissionrecords,proceedings,andbusiness,includingthenamesofallproposednominees.shallbeconfidential.
II
5.Haw.Rev.Stat.
§
92F-13(3)restrictsaccesstogovernmentrec<?rdswhen"bytheirnature[they]mustbeconfidentialinorderforthegovernmenttoavoidthefrustrationofalegitimategovernmentalinterest."6.Haw.Rev.Stat.
§
92F-13(4)restrictsaccesstogovernmentrecordswhen"pursuanttostateorfederallaw[they]areprotectedfromdisclosure."7.Haw.Rev.Stat.
§
92F-19(b)furtherprovides:
'An
agencyreceivinggovernmentrecordspursuanttosubsection(a)shallbesubjecttothesamerestr~ctionsondisclosureoftherecordsastheoriginatingagency."8.TheHawaiiSupremeCourt'sdecisioninPrayv.JudicialSelectionCommissionoftheStateofHawaii,75Haw.333,861P.2d723(1993),doesnotrequiretheGovernortodisclosethenomineesonaJSClist.Thecourtsimplysaid:"wealsoholdthatitiswithinthesolediscretionoftheappointingauthorities[i.e.,theGovernorandtheChief
433307_1
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