Native Hawaiians denied party status in suit
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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday refused to allow a group of Native Hawaiians to become involved in a suit challenging Native Hawaiian trust programs.

A three-judge panel unanimously said the group has a "significantly protectable interest" in the case. But the court determined that the state of Hawaii, which administers housing and other programs for the benefit of Native Hawaiians, would protect that interest.

The case, Arakaki v. Cayetano, is filed by non-Natives who contend that the state's programs are unconstitutional because they are based on race. Hawaii defines "Native Hawaiian" as having at least one-fourth blood quantum.

Josiah L. Hoohuli and other Native Hawaiians sought party status to protect the programs. Many Natives fear that opening up the trust to non-Natives will lead to a loss of Hawaiian homestead lands and other benefits.

The Supreme Court in 2000 ruled that elections for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) were unconstitutional. The elections are now open to all residents of Hawaii.

Get the Case:
ARAKAKI v. CAYETANO, No. 02-16269 (9th Cir. March 31, 2003)

Relevant Links:
Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Site -
Native Hawaiians, Department of Interior -
Native Hawaiian Federal Recognition Site -

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