A group of Hawaiians seeking to create a new tribal nation inside the state moved on Monday to head off a contempt order in the Supreme Court. They have done nothing to violate a Supreme Court order a month ago that blocked an election to select delegates to a convention to write a constitution, the group argued. They told the Court that they were going ahead with a convention, and contended that they had a First Amendment right to do so. That appeared to be an attempt to prevent a further attempt to interrupt the path toward a new nation. Their defense of their actions in recent weeks was siupported by the state government.Several Hawaii residents have formally asked the Supreme Court to hold in contempt the private group that ran, and then ended, the election for delegates.Full Article: Hawaiians defend against contempt plea.
Facing a potential court battle that could go on for years, Na‘i Aupuni announced this morning that it will cancel the Native Hawaiian election and proceed to a four-week convention in February. All 196 Hawaiians who ran as candidates will be offered seats as delegates to the convention, or ‘aha, said Na‘i Aupuni President Kuhio Asam. “Our goal has always been to create a path so that Hawaiians can gather and have a serious and much-needed discussion about self-governance,” Asam said at a downtown Honolulu press conference this morning. “We anticipated that the path would have twists and turns and some significant obstacles, but we are committed to proceeding to the ‘aha where this long-overdue conversation can take place,” he said.Full Article: Na’i Aupuni cancels Native Hawaiian election - Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
An opponent of an election for Native Hawaiians says the decision to cancel the process proves it’s discriminatory. Kelii Akina is one of those challenging the election terminated Tuesday. He is a plaintiff in a lawsuit that argues Hawaii residents without Native Hawaiian ancestry are unconstitutionally excluded from voting. The challenge reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which recently granted an injunction to stop ballots from being counted.Full Article: The Latest: Hawaiian election foe: Stopping vote proves bias - The Washington Post.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked votes from being counted in a unique election that’s considered a major step toward self-governance for Native Hawaiians. The high court granted an injunction requested by a group of Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians challenging the election. They argue Hawaii residents who don’t have Native Hawaiian ancestry are being excluded from the vote, in violation of their constitutional rights. The order blocks the counting of votes until at least the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issues its ruling. The group suing to stop the election appealed a district court’s ruling allowing voting to proceed. University of California Irvine election law expert Rick Hasen said it’s “very unusual” for the high court to enjoin the counting of votes during an ongoing election. “I can’t think of another instance where the Supreme Court has done that,” Hasen said. “The court has stopped … the recounting of votes, for example most famously in Bush vs. Gore” in the 2000 presidential election.Full Article: News from The Associated Press.
A closely divided Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily blocked Hawaii from counting votes in an election open only to descendants of its indigenous people, who were selecting delegates to an assembly that would propose greater self-government for Native Hawaiians. Several Hawaii residents who object to the process sued to cancel the election, contending the state has applied an unconstitutional racial test for voting, among other claims. The state argued the election wasn’t an official act at all, because a private nonprofit, Na’i Aupuni, formally is conducting it with grant funds provided by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Lower courts wouldn’t halt the election while the lawsuit proceeds, but the Supreme Court saw the matter differently. The high court forbade the counting of ballots or certification of winners until a “final disposition of the appeal” by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco.Full Article: Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Vote Limited to Native Hawaiians - WSJ.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week temporarily stopped Hawaii from counting ballots in a recent election of Native Hawaiian delegates over concerns by some the vote violates the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against voters who aren’t native Hawaiians. The delegates, once elected, would prepare a document for self-governance by native Hawaiians. Guam plans to hold a political status vote, limited to the island’s indigenous Chamorros, as defined by Guam law. The non-binding vote, or plebiscite, would be used to determine whether the island’s Chamorros prefer statehood, free association or independence. Guam currently is an unincorporated territory of the United States. The Guam vote is being challenged in federal court for allegedly discriminating against the island’s non-Chamorro voters. The case, filed by Guam resident Arnold Davis, who isn’t Chamorro, is scheduled to go to trial next July.Full Article: Native Hawaiian election halted.
Showing some skepticism that an election now taking place in Hawaii is a purely private matter, Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on Friday temporarily blocked the ballot-counting after all the votes are in on Monday. The order was not a final action, hinting that there could be other orders within coming days. The balloting on a proposal to begin the process toward setting up a new nation of “native Hawaiians” within the state of Hawaii actually began on November 1, and concludes on November 30. Only “native Hawaiians” can vote. The challengers, contending that the election is an official election that is race-based and thus violates the Constitution, had not asked that the balloting be stopped, and Kennedy’s order does not do so. The state of Hawaii, with strong support from the federal Department of the Interior, favors a plan to create a new entity, something like an Indian tribe, that would give those who can show Hawaiian ancestry the right of self-determination, leading to the status of a sovereign nation.Full Article: Kennedy temporarily blocks Hawaii vote count : SCOTUSblog.
Supporters of a Native Hawaiian election of delegates to a February convention are urging voters to submit their ballots by the Monday deadline, despite an order Friday by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy temporarily halting the counting of ballots or certification of winners. Kennedy’s one-sentence order was terse, saying only “respondents are enjoined from counting the ballots cast in, and certifying the winners of, the election described in the application, pending further order of the undersigned or of the Court.” It’s not uncommon for a single justice, the one assigned to a specific circuit, to unilaterally issue an order, Todd Belt, a political science professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, said Friday. It’s much less common for the court to act so quickly, Belt said. He said a notable example was the case of Bush v. Gore, during the contested 2000 presidential election. “They’ve been known to take cases very quickly,” Belt said. “It’s happened in the past and generally it’s done if there’s some sort of inherent harm.”Full Article: U.S. Supreme Court justice temporarily halts Native Hawaiian election | West Hawaii Today.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on Friday ordered officials in Hawaii not to count ballots or name the winners of an election there in which only people of native Hawaiian ancestry could vote. The justice’s order was a response to an emergency application from Hawaii residents who said the election violated the 15th Amendment, which bars race discrimination in voting. The election is to end on Monday, and Justice Kennedy’s order did not stop the voting. He apparently acted on his own, and his order may mean only that he wanted to preserve the status quo over a holiday weekend until the full court could consider the matter. The election is for delegates to a convention that would prepare a document on self-governance by Native Hawaiians. Under a definition in a 2011 law, only descendants of “the aboriginal peoples who, before 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian islands” are eligible to vote.Full Article: Supreme Court Justice Intervenes in Native Hawaiian Election - The New York Times.
Opponents of an election designed to be a significant step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block votes from being counted in what they argue is an unconstitutional, racially exclusive process. “This court’s intervention is urgently needed,” said the request filed Tuesday with Justice Anthony Kennedy, who can act on his own or get his colleagues involved. Native Hawaiians are voting to elect delegates for a convention next year to come up with a self-governance document to be ratified by Native Hawaiians. Voting ends Monday. A group of Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians is challenging the election, arguing Hawaii residents who don’t have Native Hawaiian ancestry are being excluded from the vote, in violation of their constitutional rights.Full Article: Opponents ask high court to block Native Hawaiian vote count - PostBulletin.com: Politics.
A group of Hawiians, some of whom won’t be able to vote in a special election that ends on November 30 that is a prelude to recognizing a new Indian-like tribe including many residents, asked the Supreme Court to temporarily stop the completion of that election until their challenge can be decided. In an application filed Thursday night, the challengers argued that the election is based along strict racial lines, and is thus unconstitutional under the Fifteenth Amendment. The election — favored by the state and endorsed by the federal Department of the Interior — will be limited to a voter roll made up of people who can qualify as “native Hawaiians.” The election will choose delegates to a convention to write a constitution for what would be a new government entity, similar to a traditional Indian tribe. The aim is to give those who qualify a right of “self-determination.”Full Article: Hawaiians protest vote on future tribal plan (UPDATED) : SCOTUSblog.
Votes cast in an ongoing election for Native Hawaiians can be counted as planned, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. Native Hawaiians are voting to elect delegates for a convention next year to come up with a self-governance document to be ratified by Native Hawaiians. They are the last remaining indigenous group in the United States that hasn’t been allowed to establish its own government. A group of Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians are challenging the election. One of their arguments is that it’s unconstitutional for the state to be involved in a race-based election. A federal judge in Honolulu ruled last month that the election may proceed. The challengers appealed and also filed an emergency motion to block the votes from being counted.Full Article: Fed appeals court won't stop Hawaiian election vote count - Porterville Recorder: National News.
A federal judge ruled Friday that an election can go forward to choose delegates to draft a document allowing Native Hawaiians to govern themselves. U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright explained the election is a private poll — not one run by the state — as he denied a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the vote set for next month. Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous group in the U.S. that hasn’t been allowed to establish its own government.Full Article: Judge OKs election - Thegardenisland.com: Local.