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Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Dismissed in Federal Court, Convicted Felon Keanu Sai fails in effort to seize control of Hawaii
By Selected News Articles @ 11:36 AM :: 8694 Views :: Hawaii History

Hawaii will stay in the United States, judge says

From McClatchy Suits and Sentences

Hawaii will be staying in the United States, for the time being.

This week, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the 19th century annexation of the islands. Still, the lawsuit by (convicted felon and UH perfesser) David Keanu Sai does offer an interesting history lesson, for those who want to know more about the growth of the American empire.

As the judge notes:

"Near the end of the nineteenth century, American business interests were dominating the islands and creating tensions with pro-native, anti-Western interests...In 1893, a group of professionals and businessmen, with the active assistance of John Stevens, the United States Minister to Hawaii, acting with United States Armed Forces, replaced the monarchy with a provisional government that sought annexation by the United States. The overthrow of the Hawaiian government was effected on January 17, 1893."

Hmm, sure sounds familiar...

Anyway, Sai claimed the annexation was unconstitutional. He tried putting money where his mouth is, having created in the 1990s the Hawaiian Kingdom Trust Company to serve as provisional government of the islands. That did not end well, for reasons further spelled out in the judge's decision.

Judge Kollar-Kotelly dismissed the lawsuit, not least because it's beyond her judicial power. She explained:

"The federal courts have long recognized that the determination of sovereignty over a territory is fundamentally a political question beyond the jurisdiction of the courts."
  *   *   *   *   *

Lawsuit, Hawaiian style

by Danny Jacobs The Daily Record

I was taking a break from turning all of my clocks forward Saturday when I came across news that greatly relieved me: Hawaii is still part of the United States! No need to break out my ca. August 1959 flag!

McClatchy’s Michael Doyle blogged last week that a federal judge in Washington dismissed a pro se lawsuit alleging the 1898 annexation of the Hawaiian island is unconstitutional. David Keanu Sai went so far as to set up a provisional government of the “Hawaiian Kingdom.” After he was convicted on theft charges in 2000, he argued U.S. authority over the islands violated federal and international law.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s opinion includes a good lesson in late 19th century American history and includes the word “plenipotentiary.”

The upshot:

Since its annexation in 1898 and admission to the Union as a State in 1959, Hawaii has been firmly established as part of the United States. The passage of time and the significance of the issue of sovereignty present an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made.
So, barring an appeal, we can say “Aloha” to Sai’s lawsuit.
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