Hawaii residents are subject to Hawaii state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Hawaii as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Hawaii also has its own state laws. Hawaii state laws include the Hawaii Constitution, laws passed by the Hawaii legislature and periodically codified in the Hawaii Revised Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret Hawaii laws.
The current version of the Hawaii Constitution dates from 1978. While the Constitution largely resembles other state constitutions, it also echoes the Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii. One of its key provisions designates the Hawaiian language as an official language of Hawaii. Article XVII provides the process for amending the Constitution, which involves either legislative referral or a constitutional convention. An amendment is placed on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber of the legislature votes in its favor in a single session, or if a majority of each chamber votes in its favor in two successive sessions. A proposal for a constitutional convention will appear on a ballot at intervals no greater than 10 years.
The Hawaii Revised Statutes contain the laws passed by the Hawaii legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Hawaii Constitution are often interpreted by the Hawaii Supreme Court and the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals. The federal Hawaii District Court also issues decisions that may affect Hawaii residents. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the Hawaii District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Ninth Circuit or from the Hawaii Supreme Court.