Tuesday, April 07, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, December 07, 2008
Statement on Ceded Lands Issue
By News Release @ 12:52 AM :: 7019 Views :: Akaka Bill, Hawaii History, Hawaii State Government, Land Use, OHA
EDITOR'S NOTE: News Release from Governor's office responds to December 6, 2008 Honolulu Advertiser article.  The Advertiser quotes Bill Meheula, a key player in Dan Akaka's 2006 reelection campaign and Lilian Kame'eleihiwa, of the UH Hawaiian Studies Dep't who ague that OHA has a claim to ceded lands and seem to imply that the State has taken a new position in its appeal to the US Supreme Court requesting the Court overturn the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling blocking the state from selling ceded lands.  The OHA Trustees and their operatives have been attempting to pressure the State to drop its suit.  This betrays lack of confidence on the part of OHA.  If they believed the Supreme Court would rule in OHA's favor, then it would be natural for them to welcome the clarity which a Supreme Court ruling would create. 
Best quote from Advertiser: Meheula indignantly proclaims, "(They're saying that) the state of Hawai`i and the United States have perfect title." 
Bingo!  That is exactly what the State is saying (and has been under Waihe`e, Cayetano and Lingle).  If Meheula was confident that the State does not have perfect title, then he should be eager for the opportunity for the US Supreme Court to rule in his favor. 

The Governor and the Attorney General released the following statement today in response to an article in the Honolulu Advertiser that contained statements that mistake the State's long held position on the issue of ceded lands.

The comments made by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) in Saturday's newspaper, that the State's legal position regarding ceded lands has changed, is untrue. Since the beginning of the lawsuit, the State's position has remained unchanged.  

The State fully owns the land it was given at Statehood, and there are no other claims to the land that a court of law can adjudicate. 

OHA and the other plaintiffs have always based their case on a claim that the State lacks good title to the ceded lands, and the State has always taken the position it holds such good title and that there are no claims to the land recognizable in court other than the State's. The state's position has not changed in the more than a decade this case has wound its way through the court system.

For example, in March 1996, the State wrote in a pleading in this case: "[The Apology Resolution] does not, it must be appreciated, expressly or by implication purport to reverse Annexation or repeal any part of the Admission Act which created the State and vested legal title to ceded lands in it." 

More than 10 years ago, in March 1998, the State wrote in a pleading: "Plaintiffs base their attack on the State's title to ceded land and its ability to alienate that land on a federal law, known as the Apology Bill, which confers no substantive rights and cannot be read as an implied repeal of the provisions of the Admission Act that confer title on the State and authorize use of the land to develop among other things home ownership."

In 2001, the State wrote: "There is no legal basis for Plaintiff's request. To grant injunctive relief, the Court would have to defy all existing laws on the issue - including the Admission Act by which Hawai`i received Ceded Lands, the Hawai`i State Constitution and Hawai`i Supreme Court opinions - each of which specifically allows the State to sell or convey public lands, including Ceded Lands."

Indeed, based on precedent, and the State's arguments, the Circuit Court in 2002, ruled in the State's favor, noting  that "When Hawai`i became a state pursuant to the Admission Act, however, complete title and control [of the ceded lands] passed to the State . . . ." 

We have never argued, and do not now argue, that there are not strong moral claims that can be asserted. But we have argued since the inception of this lawsuit that the only forum that can consider such claims is one that encompasses legislative actions. 


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute


Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii


DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group


Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii



National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today


Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii



Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii


SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii