The plaintiffs in the suit against the State of Hawai‘i and its agencies to stop the racially exclusive election and constitutional convention to establish a Native Hawaiians-only nation have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, according to a press release from the Grassroot Institute of Hawai‘i. The motion asks the court to put the election on hold until after a decision is reached in Keli‘i Akina, et al vs. The State of Hawai‘i, et al. The group of four Native Hawaiians and two non-Native Hawaiians who filed the suit against the election are asking that all the groups involved—Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Na‘i Aupuni and the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission—be prevented from engaging in voter registration or calling and holding elections while the case is ongoing.
“It is imperative to stop draining public funds on a racially discriminatory process that the majority of Native Hawaiians have chosen not to endorse, especially while the needs of native Hawaiians for housing, jobs, education and health go underfunded,” said Keli‘i Akina, Ph.D., president of the Grassroot Institute and one of the Native Hawaiian plaintiffs.
In the memorandum supporting the motion, the plaintiffs argue that that the election “violates the First, Fourth and Fifteenth Amendments, and the Voting Rights Act.” They further argue that to allow the election process to move forward would cause both the plaintiffs and the citizens of the state irreparable harm, citing the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion that, “[a]n alleged constitutional infringement will often alone constitute irreparable harm.”