When is a prayer not a prayer?
That question has not been so much of an issue in the House.
"I think the Supreme Court decision already illuminates what the House of Representatives already does. We are very glad with the decision. It is absolutely in line with what we do," said Rep. John Mizuno.
But it has been an issue in the senate which riled the lone Republican who, after learning that leadership decided to do away with the invocation, made a point to mention God in some way, every day.
"God bless Hawaii, God bless America,” said Sen. Sam Slom in his opening day speech of this legislative session.
"I close the session every day and I have had a prayer every day in those four years," said Slom.
House leadership makes a point of saying lawmakers may participate in the invocation if they choose to.
"The key is we do not proseyltize, which means we are not forcing someone to convert to their religion and we do it with respect and we do not disparage any other religion," said Mizuno.
The issue came to a head at Honolulu Hale four years ago. Mitch Kahle and Holly Huber of the group Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State complained about the mostly christian prayers said before Honolulu City Council meetings.
Under threat of a lawsuit, the invocation then became known as the "Message of Aloha."
Council Chair Ernie Martin said current policy prohibits messages that address a specific deity or faith.
But he said council may modify that policy in light of the Supreme Court decision.
Senator Slom is hoping the senate reconsiders too.
"We need some political spine and stand up for the values and things that the vast majority of people in our community and nationally want to have again,"said Slom.
The Senate has been overly cautious after Kahle sued after a scuffle with Senate security as he tried to videotape the invocation. The complaint ended up being settled at taxpayer’s expense.
The House hopes with the added weight of the high court other government entities will follow its lead.
"We don't need taxpayers to foot a $100,000 or $250,00 dollar of bill for a First Amendment concern,” Mizuno said.
State Attorney General David Louie said today's decision provides the legislatures with more freedom with respect to prayer, but still imposes significant boundaries that may not be crossed.
The American Civil Liberties Union said it is disappointed with the ruling.
Calls adn emails to Kahle and Huber were not returned.