October 8, 1840: Constitution of 1840
The 1840 Constitution was Hawaiʻi’s first detailed constitution and it established a governmental structure for the Hawaiian Kingdom. It confirmed the authority of island governors who had been appointed by the king, and created a two-body legislative council with a house of nobles and a house of representatives chosen by the people. The 1840 Constitution also created a judicial system which included a supreme court. The supreme court was comprised of the king, the kuhina nui (prime minister or regent), and four others appointed by the house of representatives. The constitution was written by King Kauikeaouli and Premier Kekāuluohi. Enacted on October 8, 1840 and published as Ke Kumu Kanawai a me na Kanawai o ko Hawaii Pae Aina, Honolulu, 1841, and Translation of the Constitution and Laws of the Hawaiian Islands, Established in the Reign of Kamehameha III, Lahaina Luna, 1842.
Below is the enacting language contained in the 1840 Constitution which states: “O keia olelo i oleloia maluna, ua hooholoia i naʻlii, a ua kauia ko maua inoa, i keia la 8 o Okatoba, i ka makahiki o ka Haku, 1840, ma Honolulu, Oahu.”