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Federal Recognition
Debate on Native Hawaiian bill delayed in Senate

Indianz.Com Listening Lounge, House Hearing on Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act, July 19, 2005
Note: All files in MP3 format.
Intro - 12:37 - 2.16MB

Panel I - 29:29 - 5.06MB | Q&A - 24:54 - 4.27MB

Witness List
A bill to recognize a Native Hawaiian governing entity has been put on hold by two Republican senators, including John Ensign of Nevada.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 was to be debated this week and put to a vote. But Ensign raised concerns about language prohibiting gaming on Native Hawaiian lands.

"We want to make sure the language is sufficient," a spokesperson told the Associated Press. The other senator who place a hold has not been identified.

The delay came as the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on the bill. The committee doesn't have jurisdiction over the issue but called witnesses to debate the legality of recognizing Native Hawaiians in a manner similar to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

State attorney general Mark Bennett defended the bill, which was supported by Democrats at the hearing. But the other three witnesses said it was illegal and violated the Constitution because it "creates" a government based solely on race.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), the subcommittee chairman, also said the bill might be unconstitutional.

Get the Story:
Akaka and Lingle hope to remove �holds� on bill (The Honolulu Star-Bulletin 7/20)
'A matter of justice and fairness' (The Honolulu Advertiser 7/20)

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