ACLU threats Hawaii Senate with lawsuit over invocation practice
HONOLULU, Hawaii: In response to the threat of a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union, Hawaii State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa announced the formation of a three-member Senate committee to review the chamber's invocation practice. Traditionally, each legislative floor session of both the Hawaii State Senate and the House opens with remarks made by religious and community leaders, along with legislators and staffers. These remarks can include prayers. The letter from the ACLU specifically cited the use of Christian prayer and references to Jesus Christ at the legislature.
A meeting date has not been set yet, but the committee will include Senate Vice-President Russell Kokubun, Senate Majority Policy Leader Les Ihara, Jr., and Senate Minority Floor Leader Sam Slom. In response to the letter, Hanabusa said that during the invocation, all denominational viewpoints have been represented.