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Old 03-31-2009, 03:06 PM
Location: honolulu
1,729 posts, read 1,430,849 times
Reputation: 445


Aloha mai kakou,

You may have heard by now that the United States Supreme Court has ruled on the "ceded" lands case. Unfortunately, several local media outlets do not explain the Supreme Court ruling adequately and, in my opinion, may inadvertently mis-lead the public.

Upon first glance, anyone might come to the conclusion that the State of Hawai'i can sell ceded lands. But, Kupu'aina reads the opinion differently. When the Hawai'i Supreme Court made its landmark ruling last year placing a moratorium on the sale of "ceded" lands, it did so using both the 1993 Apology Resolution AND relevant state law. When the U.S. Supreme Court came out with its ruling this morning, it only ruled on the 1993 Apology Resolution and not state law. In fact, at the end of its decision, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that it has no authority to decide questions of Hawai'i state law or to provide redress for past wrongs except as provided for by federal law. The U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back down to the Hawai'i Supreme Court to proceed in a manner that is consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling.

The Attorney General Mark Bennett, sought to take this "ceded" lands case out of the Hawai'i Supreme Court. Now, however, the U.S. Supreme Court has put the case back into the hands of the State Supreme Court.

This morning there are two good interviews on the KGMB website that is helpful to people who want to understand today's ruling.
There is an interview with
Clyde Namuo (OHA Administrator) OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo Talks About Court Ruling | KGMB9 News (http://tr.im/Namuo090331 - broken link) and
Colleen Hanabusa (Hawaii Senate President Senate President Comments on Court Ruling | KGMB9 News Hawaii | (KGM (http://tr.im/Hanabusa090331 - broken link).
Clyde Namuo explains how this ruling is exactly what the Office of Hawaiian Affairs hoped for once the Supreme Court decided to take up the case. Generally, the reason is because the ruling puts the case back into State court. Senator Hanabusa also explains why, the State, still can't sell "ceded" lands at this time. Hanabusa's statements are contrary to today's Honolulu Advertiser headline which reads, "US Supreme Court says state can sell ceded lands."

Kupu‘āina encourages the public to read the U.S. Supreme Court's short opinion on this issue rather than rely only on media reports. You can access the opinion at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinio...ipopinion.html

Kupu‘āina Coalition

As well, we know we must address the sense of betrayal that many in our Native Hawaiian community feel on the issue of ceded lands, and in particular the case now pending before the United States Supreme Court. We will not turn a deaf ear to these questions, as difficult as they may be. We have heard the call of the people and we must respond. -- Colleen Hanabusa January 21, 2009
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