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Opinion
Editorial: Native Hawaiians never had a government


"As a statement flouting the fundamental premise of the 15th Amendment - that most noble item forbidding racial discrimination in voting - you could not do much worse than the "Native Hawaiian" legislation now building steam in Congress.

Sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, Senate Bill 147 would create a government exclusively for "native" Hawaiians, the determination of which in this racially well-melted state to be decided later.

Essentially alone in fighting off this terrible idea is Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. Kyl approaches his opposition from two fronts.

One is self-evident principle: Using Congress to create a "tribe" out of thin air is an affront to the very concept of equal protection before the law. Creating a native Hawaiian government, especially one lacking self-defining borders, establishes one set of laws for natives and another for "outsiders," even those who have lived for generations on the islands.

The other is practical: Native American tribes existed before the creation of the United States, and the accommodations sought for those tribes constitute an acknowledgment of realities as they existed at the time."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Aloha, equality (The Arizona Republic 8/4)

School Admission Policy Decision:
Doe v. Kamehameha Schools (August 2, 2005)

Rice v. Cayetano Election Rights Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion | Concurrence Dissent (Stevens) | Dissent (Ginsburg)

Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill:
Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (S.147)

Relevant Links:
Kamehameha Schools - http://www.ksbe.edu
Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Site - http://www.hawaii-nation.org
Native Hawaiian Federal Recognition Site - http://www.nativehawaiians.com

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