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Justice Kennedy Halts Native Hawaiian Election - Enjoins Counting of Ballots
Grassroot Institute applauds victory for equality and the Aloha Spirit
News Release from Grassroot Institute
HONOLULU, HAWAII--Nov. 27, 2015--Today, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an order enjoining the counting of ballots cast in, and certifying the winners in the Native Hawaiian election. Though the injunction is indefinite pending further action from Justice Kennedy or the full Court, it will prevent the Na'i Apuni election from proceeding with the scheduled ballot count on November 30th.
"This is a significant victory for us," stated Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute and one of the Plaintiffs in the case brought by Judicial Watch. "After a full briefing, Justice Kennedy decided that the issue was worthy of further examination, and issued the injunction we requested. We are confident in our position, and excited at the possibility that it could go before the full Court."
Dr. Akina continued: "We are very grateful for the wisdom of the Court in upholding the Constitution. Today's ruling from Justice Kennedy is not just a victory for us, but a victory for the many Native Hawaiians who have been misrepresented and overridden by government and special interests determined to create a government-recognized tribe. It's a victory for all Hawaiians--and all Americans--in its affirmation of racial equality. Finally, it is a victory for the Aloha Spirit which enables people of all backgrounds to live and work together in harmony."
Justice Kennedy's order can be viewed at: http://new.grassrootinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/112715.zr_.pdf
To see all the filings and documents associated with this case, go to: http://new.grassrootinstitute.org/2015/10/akina-v-hawaii-the-documents/
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NA’I AUPUNI STATEMENT ON U.S. SUPREME COURT’S DECISION TO TEMPORARILY HALT VOTE COUNT
News Release from Na’i Aupuni, November 27, 2015
HONOLULU – Na’i Aupuni is a Native Hawaiian organization made up of a volunteer board of directors with a mission to establish a path for Native Hawaiian self-determination. The following statement is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to put a stay on the counting of votes in the election of delegates to the ‘Aha, or constitutional convention:
“Na’i Aupuni did not expect that creating a path for Native Hawaiians to formally discuss self governance and create a proposed constitution would be unimpeded. Native Hawaiian self governance has been discussed for over 120 years without tangible results. While the counting of votes has been temporarily enjoined by the United States Supreme Court (USSC), we are confident that Judge Seabright, Hawaii’s Federal Court chief judge, correctly denied Grassroot Institute’s motion to enjoin the election and that Judge Seabright’s order will ultimately be affirmed.
Most importantly, the USSC’s order did not bar voting. Na’i Aupuni encourages all voters to continue voting for the delegate candidates who will participate in the ‘Aha or constitutional convention with the goal of making self-governance recommendations for ratification by voters.
Reorganizing a government is not easy and it takes the courage and will of the candidates to take the first step in this historic process. It is every voter’s kuleana to help them by voting now.”
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Plaintiffs File Appeal with Supreme Court
Grassroot Institute makes case against "unprecedented" District Court decision
News Release from Grassroot Institute
HONOLULU, HAWAII--Nov. 24, 2015--The Plaintiffs in the case of Akina v. Hawaii have filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court, asking for an injunction that would halt the Nai Apuni election while the case is being determined.
In an Emergency Application for Injunction Pending Appellate Review, the plaintiffs stressed the timing of the Native Hawaiian election and the fact that in one week, on November 30, the election for delegates will be completed and the votes would be counted, forever closing off the plaintiffs' rights to participate in the process.
"We are glad to bring this issue to the Supreme Court," stated Keli'i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute and one of the Plaintiffs in the case. "As more and more people hear about this case, we have seen tremendous public support for our effort to stop this divisive and unconstitutional election."
"Native Hawaiians have been vocal in denying that they have ever been--or should be--a tribe" continued Dr. Akina. "They would, however, prefer to see the money being wasted on this election spent instead on education, health care, job training, and other efforts to make a real and tangible difference in their community. The election process has been a farce and have only served to alienate and divide Native Hawaiians. It is time for the state to get out of the nation-building process and focus on the issues that really matter."
The emergency filing reiterated the point that the impetus and funding for the election came from the State of Hawaii, disputing the Defendant's contention that this is a private election.
"This ruling is literally unprecedented," the appeal states in reference to the District Court's initial denial of an injunction. "It is the first decision in American history (not subsequently vacated) to find a compelling justification for a State to prohibit individuals of a certain race from voting in an election."
To see the filings and documents associated with this case, go to: http://new.grassrootinstitute.org/2015/10/akina-v-hawaii-the-documents/
AP: Justices asked to block Native Hawaiian election vote count