Contempt Charges Filed Against Government-Sponsored, Race-Based Nation-Building Effort
Grassroot Institute says Nai Aupuni has ignored and defied the Supreme Court.
News Release from Grassroot Institute
HONOLULU, HAWAII--December 22, 2015-- The plaintiffs in the case Akina v. the State of Hawaii on Tuesday filed a Motion for Civil Contempt at the U.S. Supreme Court against the Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission, Nai Aupuni, and other defendants in the case. The motion argues that the respondents are in violation of the letter and spirit of the Court's temporary injunction issued on December 2nd, after which Nai Aupuni cancelled their election and offered to seat all candidates as delegates in a convention to form a government.
The plaintiffs have asked the Court to hold respondents in contempt and take all steps necessary to enforce the temporary injunction.
"It's outrageous that Na'i Aupuni and state agencies such as OHA and the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission have ignored and defied the Supreme Court of the United States," stated Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., president of the Grassroot Institute and a plaintiff in the case. Dr. Akina continued, "All citizens of Hawaii, including Native Hawaiians, should be appalled at the contempt our own state government is showing to the U.S. Constitution. The majority of Native Hawaiians, in particular, have made it clear that they do not support and are not represented by those trying to push through a state-sponsored, racially discriminatory government-creation process."
The case is being argued by Judicial Watch, assisted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, an independent, free-market think tank that has enlisted the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs include four native Hawaiians and two non-native Hawaiians.
Robert Popper of Judicial Watch, lead attorney in the case said, "This whole election was based on a trick, using a non-profit that was really a state agent to accomplish what the State could not. It was all an attempt to get around prior Supreme Court precedent. This latest move of certifying all the candidates as winners is simply another trick. This time it's an attempt to get around the Supreme Court's Dec. 2 injunction."
Michael Lilly, former Hawaii Attorney General and an attorney for the plaintiffs added, "Nai Aupuni cancelled its election and certifies delegates without first asking the US Supreme Court whether that was in violation of its Temporary Injunction. By certifying delegates, Nai Aupuni violated the Supreme Court's order for which we have asked them to be held in contempt of court."
To see all the filing and documents associated with the case of Akina v. Hawaii, go to http://new.grassrootinstitute.org/2015/10/akina-v-hawaii-the-documents/
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Akina v. Hawaii Motion for Civil Contempt
From Judicial Watch, December 22, 2015
To the Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States:
On December 2, 2015, the Court enjoined Respondents “from counting the ballots cast in, and certifying the winners of, the election described in the application, pending final disposition of the appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.” Supplemental Appendix (“Supp. App.”) 427a. That election was the means by which Respondents were to select delegates for a convention concerning whether Native Hawaiians would seek federal tribal status. By prohibiting Respondents from certifying the winners, the Court ensured that Applicants Yoshimasa Sean Mitsui and Joseph William Kent—who, because of their race, could not run as delegate candidates or vote in that election—would not lose the right to participate in this process while their appeal was heard. The injunction preserved the status quo “in aid of the appellate jurisdiction which might otherwise be defeated.” McClellan v. Carland, 217 U.S. 268, 280 (1910).
Respondents have violated the Temporary Injunction and should be held in civil contempt. On December 15, 2015, Na’i Aupuni announced that every individual who ran as a candidate for delegate in the election will be seated at a convention to begin on February 1, 2016. Supp. App. 432a. Thus, instead of counting the ballots and seating the 40 candidates receiving the most votes, Na’i Aupuni declared every candidate running for delegate to be the winner and seated them all. Even worse, Respondents’ actions are the latest in a long pattern of recalcitrance. Civil contempt is the only way to bring them into compliance, thwart willful circumvention of the Temporary Injunction, and ensure respect for the rule of law.
READ: Akina-v.-Hawaii-Motion-for-Civil-Contempt (25 pgs)
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JUDICIAL WATCH FILES FOR CONTEMPT IN SUPREME COURT AGAINST STATE OF HAWAII GOING FORWARD WITH RACE-BASED “NATIVE HAWAIIAN-ONLY” ELECTION
News Release from Judicial Watch, December 23, 2015
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it filed a Motion for Civil Contempt against the State of Hawaii for its contravention of an injunction in the race-based “Native Hawaiian-only” election. The civil contempt motion alleges the State of Hawaii circumvented an order from the United States Supreme Court enjoining Hawaii from counting ballots or certifying winners in the election until a review of the case is completed by the Ninth Circuit Court. The Supreme Court filing arises out of a federal lawsuit on behalf of five Hawaiian residents and one Texas resident of Hawaiian descent who oppose the discriminatory election process (Keli’i Akina, et al. v. The State of Hawaii, et al. (No. 1:15-cv-00322)).
On August 28, Judicial Watch sought a preliminary injunction from the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii to stop the vote that had been scheduled for November 2015, arguing that its clients would be denied the right to vote either because of their race or their political views, in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Hawaii’s Act 195 authorizes the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission (NHRC) to create a list of “Native Hawaiians” who would be eligible to elect delegates to a planned constitutional convention that would then prepare “governance documents” for a separate Native Hawaiian entity.
Ultimately, on December 2, the Supreme Court ordered an injunction stopping the race-based election, which reads:
The application for injunction pending appellate review presented to Justice Kennedy and by him referred to the Court is granted. Respondents are enjoined from counting the ballots cast in, and certifying the winners of, the election described in the application, pending final disposition of the appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, Justice Sotomayor, and Justice Kagan would deny the application.
Hawaii violated the injunction on December 15, 2015, when the Na’i Apuni Foundation, a defendant in the case, allegedly acting on behalf of the State Hawaii, announced that all 196 candidates in the now-enjoined election will be seated at a February 1, 2016 constitutional convention to consider whether Native Hawaiians should seek some sort of federal tribal status. Thus, instead of counting the ballots and seating the 40 candidates receiving the most votes, the State of Hawaii, through its agents, declared every candidate running for delegate to be a winner, and plans to seat them all. Judicial Watch’s attorneys argue that Hawaii’s gamesmanship is intended to ensure the success of the Obama Interior Department’s controversial plan to recognize the new Hawaiian “tribe.”
The plaintiffs ask the Supreme Court to stop the plan to seat all candidates at the convention, to impose fines to ensure compliance, and to bring the State of Hawaii’s election-related actions under the supervision of federal courts.
“This is a constitutional crisis. That is why we are asking the United States Supreme Court to hold the State of Hawaii in contempt. Rather than stand down as the Supreme Court lawfully ordered, Hawaii plans to proceed with an unconstitutional, race-based, separatist election that violates the fundamental constitutional rights of American citizen clients,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We went to the Supreme Court because President Obama, whose administration is in cahoots with Hawaii public officials, obviously will not send troops to Hawaii to defend the rule of law, as President Eisenhower did to enforce the Supreme Court’s desegregation order in Little Rock.”
Robert Popper, director of Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project, is Judicial Watch’s lead attorney on the lawsuit and lead counsel for all plaintiffs. Mr. Popper was formerly deputy chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Michael Lilly of the Honolulu law firm Ning, Lilly & Jones, a former Attorney General for Hawaii, is serving as Judicial Watch’s local counsel for the plaintiffs. H. Christopher Coates is also an attorney for the plaintiffs. Coates is an expert voting rights attorney who most recently served as Chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department under President Barack Obama. William S. Consovoy and J. Michael Connolly of Consovoy McCarthy Park PLLC just joined as counsel as the litigation went before the Supreme Court.
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