Leftists regularly seek to divide Americans by race. That’s certainly what’s happening out in Hawaii. But Judicial Watch is pushing back hard. And successfully.
Judicial Watch recently won a key victory when the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, located in Honolulu, forced Hawaii’s Native Hawaiian Roll Commission (NHRC) to release records regarding the enrollment list of “Native” Hawaiians created pursuant to the “Kana’iolowalu,” the NHRC’s controversial racial registration campaign.
Judicial Watch filed an “Application for an Order Allowing Inspection of Public Records” in February 2015 to obtain records regarding the campaign.
The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a Hawaii-based think tank, partnered with Judicial Watch on this investigation.
The court ruled the enrollment list was a public record and the commission had come up with no good reason for withholding it.
Judicial Watch had argued that citizens were entitled to see the records, especially if their names happened to be on the lists without their knowledge.
In 2012, using taxpayer funds, the NHRC launched the Kana’iolowalu campaign, including a registration process for native Hawaiians who desired to vote for a new race-based sovereign government.
When the registration process closed in January 2014, only 40,000 “Native” Hawaiians had registered.
The commission reopened registration twice, in March and August 2014. During this period, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs transferred to the Kana’iolowalu campaign government lists of “Native Hawaiians” who had previously registered their “ancestry” with the state agency.
At least 87,000 names were transferred to bolster the Roll Commission’s enrollment list. Individuals who objected to being added to the race-based voter roll without their permission had to file a form to have their names removed.
The race-based enrollment list was created under Hawaii’s 2011 Act 195, which authorized the Roll Commission to create a list of “Native Hawaiians” who would be eligible to vote on issues concerning the sovereignty of the “Native Hawaiian people.”
Act 195 defines a “Native Hawaiian” as anyone the government determines to be a direct descendant of the state’s aboriginal peoples. A person may register for the Kana’iolowalu if, besides meeting the law’s racial requirements, that individual has “maintained a significant cultural, social, or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community” and “wishes to participate” in organizing an anticipated “Native Hawaiian governing entity.”
Racial classifications designed to allocate political power and government benefits are profoundly offensive and illegal. But even worse is this attempt to unlawfully use Hawaiian citizens’ names, without their consent, to create those classifications.
It is worth recalling that the Roll Commission was particularly mendacious in not responding to Judicial Watch’s lawful document requests. On Aug. 8, 2014, after the commission’s “roll” reportedly exceeded 125,000 registrants, Judicial Watch requested “the complete enrollment list of Native Hawaiians, known as the Kana’iolowalu.” But on Sept. 4, Clyde Namuo, on behalf of the Roll Commission, refused to produce the list, claiming the government agency’s work “is continuing and the complete enrollment list of Native Hawaiians you requested does not exist at this time.”
Subsequently, on Sept. 5, 2014, Judicial Watch rephrased the request to ask for copies of the “enrollment list of Native Hawaiians, known as the Kana’iolowalu, as it existed at any one point in time following your receipt of this request,” also asking for copies of “all documents discussing the decision to reopen, in or August 2014, registration for the Kana’iolowalu.”
On Sept. 25, 2014, Namuo again refused, on the grounds that “our registration work is ongoing and a certified enrollment list of Native Hawaiians does not exist at this time,” and that “Kana’iolowalu have never ceased” and “there is no need for documentation to administratively reopen the registration roll.”
The Obama administration is happily supporting the racial separatist movement in Hawaii, and has been rightly criticized
for taking executive action towards “the reestablishment of a government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community.”
Judicial Watch’s Grassroot Institute of Hawaii partners are also on the front-lines in this fight.
“With the release of the Roll, it will now be possible to answer concerns over the tens of thousands of names that have been placed on the list without the express permission of individuals,” said Grassroot Institute President Keli’i Akina. “The fact stands that the vast majority of Hawaiians have chosen not to support the efforts of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Native Hawaiian Roll to create a sovereign government. Their voices can now be heard. And, hopefully, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs will stop wasting public money on its unconstitutional push for sovereignty and, instead, spend it on housing, education, employment, and health services for those in need.”
Judicial Watch is represented in this litigation by former Hawaii Attorney General Michael Lilly of the Honolulu law firm Ning, Lilly & Jones.
Tom Fitton is the president of Judicial Watch. He is a nationally recognized expert on government corruption. A former talk radio and television host and analyst, Tom is well known across the country as a national spokesperson for the conservative cause. He has been quoted in Time, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and most every other major newspaper in the country. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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