SCOTUSBlog: Native Hawaiian Supreme Court case
"In State of Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, No. 07-1372, the Court will review a decision of the Hawaii Supreme Court which prohibits the State from selling virtually any state-owned land until it reaches a political settlement with Native Hawaiians.

At issue in this case are competing claims to 1.2 million acres of state land – twenty-nine percent of the State’s total land area – and the duty owed to Native Hawaiians by the State. More broadly, the case implicates the entire history of U.S. control of Hawaii.

This case has attracted considerable attention. Including the United States’s brief, seven amicus briefs were filed in support of the State, most notably a brief on behalf of thirty-two states arguing that the decision below violates principles of federalism. Ten amicus briefs were filed in support of OHA. Several of those briefs raised issues that were not addressed by the parties’ briefs. The Mountain States Legal Foundation filed a brief supporting the State in which it addressed the question whether Native Hawaiians deserve special deference from Congress similar to that given to American Indians; the Alaska Federation for Natives filed a brief in response. Another related argument, whether recognizing Native Hawaiian claims to land constitutes a race-based preference in violation of the Equal Protection Clause, was raised by the Pacific Legal Foundation, Cato Institute, and the Center for Equal Opportunity in support of the State and responded to by the National Congress of American Indians as well as The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation et al."

Get the Story:
Argument Preview: Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs (SCOTUSBlog 2/20)

Supreme Court Documents:
Docket Sheet No. 07-1372 | Petition for certiorari

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