Monday, June 17, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, August 13, 2015
Lawsuit Challenges Kanaiolowalu, Na'i Aupuni, OHA
By Grassroot Institute @ 4:53 PM :: 7810 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Office of Elections, OHA

Lawsuit Challenges State-sponsored Race-based Election and Hawaiians-only Nation

Grassroot Institute and Judicial Watch Assist Native Hawaiians and non-Native Hawaiians to Speak Out

News Release from Grassroot Institute

HONOLULU, HAWAII--August 13, 2015--A group of four Native Hawaiians and two non-Native Hawaiians have filed suit against the State of Hawaii and subsidiary agencies to halt a racially exclusive election and constitutional convention designed to establish a sovereign Hawaiian nation.

Working closely with the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, the suit was filed by non-profit watchdog group Judicial Watch, represented by former Hawaii Attorney General Michael Lilly.  Plaintiffs to the suit include native Hawaiians Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute, Melissa Moniz, Kealii Makekau, and Pedro Gapero, as well as non-Native Hawaiians Joseph Kent and Sean Mitsui.

The suit alleges that the election, sponsored by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (through a contracted organization Na’i Aupuni), using the Native Hawaiian Roll (a voter list compiled and certified by the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission), violates the U.S. Constitution by pursuing a race-based and politically qualified election to establish a racially exclusive nation. The suit thus argues that the State and its agencies are in violation of the First Amendment, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, and the Voting Rights Act.

The plaintiffs represent three categories:  1) Native Hawaiians whose names were placed on the Native Hawaiian Roll without their consent; 2) Native Hawaiians who are excluded from the Roll because they cannot in good conscience affirm the political declaration required in order to enroll; and 3) Non-Native Hawaiians who were racially discriminated against when excluded from the Roll because of race.

According to Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, and a plaintiff in the case, “This lawsuit is about preserving the Aloha Spirit and the unity of all people in Hawaii.  For Native Hawaiians, this suit is also about putting priorities in order.  Instead of OHA and the State continuing to waste millions of dollars on the pursuit of a political sovereignty campaign, they need to use these precious funds to meet the real needs of Hawaiians for housing, jobs, education, and health care. Given the low enrollment in the certified Native Hawaiian Roll, it is clear that the Native Hawaiian people themselves have rejected OHA-backed efforts to create a racially exclusive nation.  The time has come to stop dividing Hawaii’s people and start uniting them.”

Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, said, “Who would believe that in this day and age U.S. citizens are being denied access to the right to vote explicitly because of their race and their points of view? Using a race-based enrollment list ... is a violation of the U.S. Constitution and basic federal voting rights law.”

The current suit follows on the heels of a successful suit filed by Judicial Watch with the assistance of Grassroot Institute in which the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission was ordered by the court to provide Judicial Watch with a complete copy of the Roll.  Since posting that list online, Grassroot Institute has been contacted by numerous individuals claiming that their names were put onto the list without their consent.  Numerous individuals have also identified names of deceased relatives on the list. 

A copy of the complaint can be seen on the Grassroot Institute website.



ILind: The challenge to the Native Hawaiian election process

CB: Lawsuit Says Hawaiians-Only Election Is ‘Racially Exclusive’

WND: Hawaii sued for restricting voters by race, viewpoint

HNN: Lawsuit: Native Hawaiian election would be unconstitutional

HNN: Lawsuit alleges Native Hawaiian election and convention is illegal

CN: Native Hawaiian Campaign Roils Voters

AP: Lawsuit: State shouldn't be involved in race-based Native Hawaiian election

SA:  Lawsuit challenges Native Hawaiian election

SA: Federal lawsuit filed to block Native Hawaiian election


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii