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August 23, 2005

Hawaii - Kamehameha requests rehearing of admissions case (summary and update)

Topics: National News

Kamehameha Schools is asking the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear their decision of unconstitutional racism in the Schools' admission policy. The court has until the September 13th to call for a vote for rehearing. The basic argument by the School concerns the "unprecedented" reversal of a remedial program. If the court agrees to a rehearing, 11 judges will chosen, at random, to sit the panel and rehear the case.

Earlier today in a related matter - "Lawyer urges Akaka
to withdraw legislation
" and OHA Poll shows strong support for the bill

In questioning stance:
"William Burgess, an attorney who has filed lawsuits attacking the constitutionality of both OHA and the state Hawaiian Home Lands Department, said he doubted the poll's validity."

Burgess states: "This is the same shibai they used in their 2003 poll ...."

He continues: "The Akaka Bill would allow anyone with an ancestor who was indigenous to form their own separate government. Do you think that is right?"

From the article: "Asked about the large number of businesses and community groups supporting the Akaka Bill, Burgess said, 'It sounds like a lot of people who may have a vested interest in keeping Hawaiians in a state of dependency.'"

It would appear that the poll is yet another fabrication to which we in Hawaii are accustomed. There was even a poll published once that guaranteed a particular and popular candidate would win the mayorship by a landslide. He barely acquired 15% of the vote.

And on the matter of the polling....

This forum, reported by the Honolulu Advertiser, claims that the Virginia poll for the Akaka Bill sample only 980 people. If 980 then the deviation might be expected from the results obtained by Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) sponsored Ward Research.

Forum reveals complexity of Hawaiian recognition issue:

The forum basically presented old views. For the Akaka Bill, the concern gravitated about the notion of protecting the Hawaiian programs. The fear here, based upon recent court decision leaning against Hawaiian-only programs, is that all the Hawaiian programs will be declared unconstitutional. Truly, that is a real concern. The manner in which these Hawaiian programs were managed and meted out was not a topic of the forum. Robert Klein, the attorney for OHA spouted out about mystic perceptions, as he were dealing with shamans and simple people.

Bruce Fein, a constitutional attorney, said the Akaka Bill would "... plant the seeds of racial separateness and of hatred in the law." Fein feels all Hawaii voters should have a say in how the Native Hawaiian entity should be formed. Many procedural moves will be required to amend the Hawaii state constitution in order to facilitate the new entity.

Kaeo, an opponent to the bill, harps on the fact that the Kingdom of Hawaii never relinquished sovereignty to the United States. He wants independence.

Attorney General Bennett explained that the Akaka Bill may require revision in order to be heard by the Senate. He stated the bill may not allow gambling or exemptions to tax and criminal law. Kaeo was quite opposed to those ideas in: "Where is the self-determination in that?"

Grassroots Institute of Hawaii demands a referendum, before the bill is considered in Washington.

My comment is that if the Akaka Bill proponents feel confident with the Ward Research poll, then why not hold a referendum? After all, Ward Research contends that the Akaka Bill has overwhelming support from the people of Hawaii. I guess the smoke and mirrors approach to winning public support has its limitations, doesn't it?

Posted for HarryTho, on location in Hawaii.

Posted by Richard at August 23, 2005 11:23 PM

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