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U.S. Supreme Court upholds injunction in Hawaiian election

Timothy Hurley

The U.S. Supreme Court today formally granted an injunction blocking the Na‘i Aupuni Hawaiian self-governance election while the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals considers the case challenging it.

Under the order, Na‘i Aupuni officials are prohibited from counting ballots and certifying the winners of the election until the Appellate court makes a decision.

The order was granted by a narrow court majority, with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan indicating that would deny the application.

“The decision by the supreme court shows that a majority of the justices find our legal case compelling,” Keli‘i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, said in a statement.

Akina is one of six people suing the state for running an illegal, race-based election.

“This is a powerful step in holding the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Native Hawaiian Role Commission accountable for their unconstitutional and un-Hawaiian attempts to divide people based on race,” he said.

Native Hawaiians continue to vote for delegates to a convention next year to come up with a self-governance document to be ratified by Native Hawaiians.

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