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Hawaii News

Court tosses appeal on Native Hawaiians-only vote

A federal appeals court Monday dismissed an appeal about whether a vote seen as a step toward self-governance for Native Hawaiians should be open only to Native Hawaiians or to all of the state’s registered voters, saying the issue does not merit consideration because the U.S. Supreme Court issued an injunction against such a vote.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also said it was dismissing the appeal because the Nai Aupuni group of Native Hawaiians dissolved in April. The group did not want non-Native Hawaiians to elect 40 delegates to draft a self-governance document.

Kelii Akina, who was among those saying it wasn’t right for non-Native Hawaiians to be excluded from the vote, said he and the other plaintiffs were reviewing the appeals court decision to determine whether it would take additional legal steps.

The appeals court cited the Supreme Court’s December decision halting the vote and said it is possible that another Hawaii-based group will try to hold an election toward self-governance in the future.

But because no vote is scheduled, any opinion by the appeals court issued now would be “an impermissible advisory opinion that would, at most guide any future ratification efforts,” said the decision by a panel of three judges.

The lawyer who used to represent Nai Aupuni did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment on the appeals court decision.

Native Hawaiians have long sought self-determination, but there are differing opinions about what that would look like, from federal recognition, to restoring the overthrown Hawaiian kingdom, to dual citizenship.

Former U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka spent more than a decade trying to pass a bill that would give Native Hawaiians the same rights extended to many Native Americans and Alaska Natives, such as land and cultural rights.

When it became clear that wouldn’t happen, the state passed a law in 2011 recognizing Hawaiians as the first people of Hawaii and laying the foundation for Native Hawaiians to establish their own government.

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  • The native Hawaiian people, have not been able to unite, under 1 nation.

    1 nation, got divided into the Hawaiian Kingdom or the American Indian Nation.

    Since the Hawaiian Kingdom, was never legally extinguished, there are still many outstanding legal issues left.

    The American Indians lost most of the USA and were put onto Indian Reservations (Federal Lands).

    The Hawaiian Kingdom still retained legal land titles, that were never legally extinguished to Federal Lands. That is why there are Hawaiian Crown Lands, Ceded Lands, and Homestead Lands (totaling 2 million acres).

    • The Hawaiian Kingdom was legally extinguished in 1893 when Queen Liliuokalani surrendered (she folded like a cheap lawn chair). In 1895, Liliuokalani even said that the Republic of Hawaii is the only lawful government of Hawaii. It is time to build a statue honoring Lorrin Thurston and place it on the grounds of the Iolani Palace.

      • Absolutely correct Shellback. But diehard deadenders of the Hawaiian Kingdom simply refuse to acknowledge the truth, which is why I have proof posted on the internet. Here’s a webpage which provides photos of important documents resolving two major issues. 1. In Fall 1894 Emperors, kings, queens, and presidents of at least 19 nations personally signed letters officially granting diplomatic recognition to the Republic of Hawaii as the rightful government, under international law, of the still-independent nation of Hawaii. 2. Ex-queen Liliuokalani personally signed a letter of abdication and an oath of loyalty to the Republic. Here’s where anyone can see photos of those original documents, taken in the Hawaii archives:
        http://tinyurl.com/4wtwdz

        I’m always amazed when Hawaiian sovereignty overthrow-deniers and annexation-deniers think that the losers in a revolution must somehow sign a treaty to make the revolution “legal.” In the Russian revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the monarchy who never formally surrendered. A few months later the ex-Tsar and his wife and children were all shot to death to prove there would be no turning back. Hawaii President Sanford Dole was far more generous to the ex-monarch. In the Cuban revolution Batista never signed a surrender giving power to Castro. Same thing in most of the world’s revolutions. But in Hawaii we do actually have the ex-queen’s official letter of abdication and oath of loyalty to the successor government, and official letters from heads of state around the world recognizing the Republic and welcoming it to the family of nations.

      • I’m always amazed when Hawaiian sovereignty overthrow-deniers and annexation-deniers think that the losers in a revolution must somehow sign a treaty to make the revolution “legal.” In the Russian revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the monarchy who never formally surrendered. A few months later the ex-Tsar and his wife and children were all shot to death to prove there would be no turning back. Hawaii President Sanford Dole was far more generous to the ex-monarch. In the Cuban revolution Batista never signed a surrender giving power to Castro. Same thing in most of the world’s revolutions. But in Hawaii we do actually have the ex-queen’s official letter of abdication and oath of loyalty to the successor government, and official letters from heads of state around the world recognizing the Republic and welcoming it to the family of nations.

        There’s another paragraph to my reply which the robot is censoring for no apparent reason; maybe because it includes a link to my webpage providing photos of the letters of recognition and photos of Liliuokalani’s letter of abdication and oath of loyalty to the Republic. Maybe the humans behind the robot will eventually post my entire comment.

        • Kenneth, looks like you were wrong again about NaiAupuni after all. And you’re wrong about the Queen’s forced abdication.

          Any contracts or other agreements, made under cicumstances of duress or imprisonment, would be considered coercion not free choice. They are not vslid or enforceable That’s basic common law.

        • @ DannoBoy: Liliuokalani never recanted her oath of loyalty to the Republic, even in her will. She even willingly accepted a Republic of Hawaii passport in 1897. She never really cared about the Hawaiian monarchy, but she was upset that she lost access to all the wealth from the crown lands.

        • Danno says “Any contracts or other agreements, made under cicumstances of duress or imprisonment, would be considered coercion not free choice. They are not vslid or enforceable That’s basic common law.”

          Danno, that comment is absurd. In all civilized countries both historically and today, it is normal that people under arrest in prison are offered a plea bargain — they agree to plead guilty in return for a reduced charge and/or reduced sentence. They do this after talking privately with their attorney, and they do this in the presence of witnesses. They do this WHILE IN PRISON UNDER ARREST, and under threat of severe punishment including lengthy prison sentences or even the death penalty. It is NOT considered “force or duress.” This very normal legal process does make some people uncomfortable, but courts uphold plea-bargaining.

          Plea bargaining is exactly what happened with Liliuokalani after the attempted counter-revolution of January 1895. Lili’uokalani had the advice of her private attorney who had been her attorney for many years. She signed both her abdication and her loyalty oath to the Republic in the presence of her attorney and in the presence of her entire former cabinet, and the documents were notarized. You can see those documents and signatures in the webpage I linked before.

          The evidence against her was overwhelming. Guns, ammunition, and hand grenades were found stashed in the flower bed of her private home (Washington Place). Of course, like any criminal, she said she knew nothing about it. But then a search warrant was issued, and inside her home they found documents she had already signed appointing the ministers of the cabinet she would create as soon as the counter-revolution succeeded. She was ready to hit the ground running! It was clear proof she was a co-conspirator in the counter-revolution, in which men got killed, and she could have been given the death penalty along with other leaders of it. Throughout the world it often happens that kings or dictators who are overthrown are executed by their successors. Especially if they are treated gently after the overthrow, like Liliuokalani was, but then they try a counter-revolution. President Dole and the Provisional Government were extremely generous to her after the revolution of January 1893, and again after the attempted counter-revolution of January 1895.

          Your comment was completely wrong and absurd. Typical. You put your propaganda out there which is totally contrary to fact; you do not provide any evidence or argument for it, and then it takes a big rebuttal to prove you are a fool. You’re a troll, not worthy to be taken seriously.

        • It seems that Kenneth subscribes to the “might-makes right” school of ethical conduct. He is basically saying the white supremacist traitors were just because they were more powerful. He ignores the fact that they accused the Queen of violating the constitution unilaterally, then used this as a pretext to jettison the entire constitution – a far more treasonous act.

          To make matters worse, both Kenneth and the traitors fail to see that the Bayonet constitution itself was invalid because King Kalakaua had been coerced by white supremacists to sign it at gunpoint. Not only were the Queen’s actions less severe, a case could be made that they were intended to correct unlawful constitutional provisions.

          As far as her being guilty of treason against the Republic, any involvement she had with the failed counter-coup demonstrated her loyalty to the lawful government and constitution.

          As far as her confession, abdication and and loyalty oath, these were coerced by her unjust imprisonment by the traitors, as Kenneth proudly admits.

          If the Queen was guilty of anything, it was for her misplaced faith in the goodness of the Euro-Americans. Her acceptance of the white-supremacist Republic in the 1890s came when the white-supremacist United States of America failed to act honorably, did not take responsibility for its role in the coup, and did not help their ally. This was because in Washington DC, the Liliuokaliani was not considered “white” and therefore unworthy of fair treatment.

          Duress has been defined as a “threat of harm made to compel a person to do something against his or her will or judgment; esp., a wrongful threat made by one person to compel a manifestation of seeming assent by another person to a transaction without real volition”. – Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004)

          Common law took a narrow view of the concept of duress in that it was concerned with actual or threatened violence to the person or unlawful imprisonment. Equity, however, adopted a broader “fusion” view of what sort of pressure could constitute coercion for purposes of relief and has since prevailed.

          Duress in the context of contract law is a common law defense brought about when one of the parties to the contract enjoyed an ascendant position in relation to the other party and abused that position by subjecting the other to threats. A party who has entered into a contract under duress is entitled to rescind or set aside the contract, rendering it voidable (in equity).

          See:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duress

        • @DannoBoy: Let’s not forget that Kamehameha #1 also subscribed to the “might makes right” school of ethical conduct. Furthermore, you don’t need to worry about those white supremacist boogeymen. The white race hasn’t run this place since 1959. The local born Asians are now in charge here. That’s not going to change, so you better get used to it.

      • Thurston and the other annexationists’ main justification for the overthrow was the Queen’s alleged failure to follow the Bayonet Constitution (the one they forced on Kalakaua with threats of violence). The queen committed treason, he cried.

        His grandson makes this point in his book, but failed to see the hypocrisy in this argument. For, by overthrowing the monarchy and putting themselves in power, and by adopting a new constitution without any public mandate or vote, Thurston’s boys committed far far greater violations of the Bayonet Constitution than the Queen ever proposed. Then they went on to set up a white supremacist society that ruled Hawaii for the next 60 years and made then all rich.

        No monuments for racist traitors.

        • 1. Every piece of habitable land on this planet has been stolen thousands of times.
          2. The overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy was illegal, as was the overthrow of every local Kingdom in the Hawaiian archipelago (Kamehameha I did not win Oahu in a hula contest).
          3. Consider health and income statistics; tribal status has done nothing positive for Native Americans.
          4. Native Hawaiians do not suffer from a lack of government. How is –another– layer of government supposed to help?

  • The moment Hawaii becomes an independent sovereign nation, a new committee of safety will immediately overthrow the government of that new Hawaiian nation and start the process to rejoin the United States of America.

  • As always, I am astonished by the depth of Dr Conklin’s scholarship regarding the history of the kingdom of Hawaii. It is noteworthy that those proposing to restore it do not instead seek to “restore” the governments that existed in the islands prior to the start up of the British style kingdom of the Kamehameha clan and their cohorts. Why that is, I wonder, is covered by what scholarship that can be cited herein, if any?

  • As anon Hawaiian, I have no interest in voting on these issues. As a parent and grandparent I am disappointed in all the crap that is attached to all phases and the inability of Hawaiians to agree on anything.

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