by Andrew Walden
How wrong is the Hawaii State Supreme Court? Their unanimous decision just got unanimously reversed by the US Supreme Court.
The US Supreme Court has ordered the Ceded lands case back to the Hawaii Supreme Court for re-trial based entirely on State Law. Expect lots of games in the Legislature and in the courts as OHA seeks to grab the some or all of the State's power over its own land. The totally politicized hacks on the Hawaii Supreme Court will seek other (non-federal) justifications to stop sale of ceded land.
Everybody needs to start asking the question that nobody asks: "Does this OHA land grab benefit anyone other than the OHA Trustees?" Answer: "No. In fact OHA's land grab comes at the expense of everybody in the State including Hawaiians."
How did this case begin? With OHA suing to block construction of affordable housing. Why are Hawaiians leaving Hawaii? Lack of affordable housing.
How difficult is this to figure out?
The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling can be downloaded at the following site: http://www.inversecondemnation.com/files/07-1372-1.pdf
The case against OHA: OHA driving Hawaiians out of Hawaii
Star-Bulletin: In its 12-page opinion the high court said Hawaii’s Supreme Court “incorrectly” based its decision on a federal law, adopted by Congress in 1993. That federal law, commonly known as the Apology Resolution, acknowledged and apologized for the U.S. role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 and expressed support for "reconciliation between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people."
Today, the high court’s opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, said: "The Apology Resolution did not strip Hawaii of its sovereign authority to alienate the lands the United States held in absolute fee and granted to the State upon its admission to the Union."
In reversing the Hawaii State Supreme Court’s ruling, the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court sent the ceded land sale issue back to the Hawaii justices and said the case should be decided based on state law and not any federal laws.
Advertiser: The court's unanimous decision overturns a ruling by the Hawaii Supreme Court that blocked the sale of land conveyed to Hawaii when it became the 50th state.
After years of legal wrangling, the state court last year halted sales of the so-called "ceded lands" until Native Hawaiian claims to those lands are put to rest. The acreage represents more than a quarter of the Islands.
Statement from Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, UH Center for Hawaiian Studies
Statement from U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka
"I will continue to monitor the case as it is taken back up by the state courts. I still believe the best way forward is through direct negotiations between the state and federal governments and a federally recognized Native Hawaiian government. For these issues to be resolved, Native Hawaiians need a seat at the table. Mainland indigenous people have this opportunity and Native Hawaiians deserve the same chance."
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