State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse
Information Related to Hawaiʻi's November 6, 2018 State Constitutional Convention Referendum
In recent decades, the quality of public deliberation about periodic state constitutional convention referendums has been low. In particular, there has been a lack of historical, comparative, and normative information to help people understand this important democratic institution.
The Hawaiʻi State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse seeks to rectify this problem. In particular, it seeks to elevate the quality of public deliberation about Hawaii’s November 6, 2018 referendum on whether to call a state constitutional constitution, and then, if voters pass the referendum, issues relevant to subsequent stages in the constitutional convention process.
A companion website, The State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse, provides information about related referendums in other states. Information about America’s last two state constitutional convention referendum may be found at The New York State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse (2017) and Rhode Island’s Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse (2014).
If you use publish information derived from this website, please cite it.
I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President (inscribed on Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC)
About J.H. Snider
Editor, Hawaiʻi State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse
J.H. Snider is the editor of The State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse, which provides information on the fourteen U.S. states with the periodic state constitutional convention referendum. He is also the president of iSolon.org, a public policy institute that focuses on the most difficult areas of democratic reform─where elected officials have a conflict of interest in bringing about reforms that might reduce their own power. From 2011-2013 he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, and during Spring Semester 2008 a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. He has also been a fellow at the New America Foundation, American Political Science Association, and Northwestern University. Dr. Snider has a Ph.D. in American Government from Northwestern University and an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard College.
Op-eds on Hawaii‘s 2018 Constitutional Convention Referendum
- Snider, J.H., Analysis of Candidate Position Statements on the Nov. 6 ConCon Referendum, Hawai’i Free Press, August 3, 2018.
- Snider, J.H., Take the time now to understand the ‘Con Con’ question, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, June 14, 2018.
- Snider, J.H., State Constitutional Convention Was Hijacked In ’96 — It May Happen Again, Civil Beat, April 30, 2018.
- Snider, J.H., Con-Con: The People v. Hawaii Supreme Court, Hawai’i Free Press, April 30, 2018. Note: this is a longer version of the April 30, 2018 op-ed above.
- Snider, J.H., Hawaii’s biased constitutional convention ballot question, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 22, 2018.
- Snider, J.H., Preparing For Hawaii’s Next Constitutional Convention Vote, Honolulu Civil Beat, December 7, 2017.
Journal Article on State Constitutional Convention Referendums
- Snider, J.H., Does the World Really Belong to the Living? The Decline of the Constitutional Convention in New York and Other US States, 1776–2015, Journal of American Political Thought 6, no. 2 (Spring 2017): 256-293. Summarized in Snider, J.H., Opportunity for Reform: Educate New Yorkers on constitutional convention, Albany Times Union, June 10, 2017.
Symposium on State Constitutional Convention Referendums
- Snider, J.H., et al., The Politics of State Constitutional Reform, American Political Science Association Law & Courts Section, Fall 2016.
Course on State Constitutional Convention Referendums
- Snider, J.H., et al., A Political Primer on the Periodic State Constitutional Convention Referendum, Short course presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, PA, August 31, 2016. The documentary accompanying the course includes a half dozen pro & con video ads from Hawaii’s last state constitutional convention referendum in 2008.