Friday, March 06, 2009


Maui News - February 17, 2009

According to a story in the Maui News Feb. 10, "State Lawmakers are considering passage of legislation that would require people seeking driver's licenses to prove that they're legally in the United States."

If passed, the state of Hawai`i could never issue another driver's license. From a standpoint of law absolutely nobody in Hawai`i - resident aliens, US citizens, even the state itself - "can prove they're legally in the United States."

The California Assembly could pass the same legislation and not run into these problems. This is because the the Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty of 1848 transferred Mexico's title to the United States, thereby making California legally part of the US

The United States Congress twice rejected treaties proposing the annexation of Hawai`i. They opted to "annex" Hawai`i by joint resolution. Being a domestic law, no resolution other than one ratifying a treaty has any effect on an international level. For instance, Congress cannot annex Russia without Russia's consent.

U.S. Public Law 103-150 admitted that "the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands to the United States, either through their monarchy or through plebiscite or referendum."

Since the sovereignty of Hawai`i was never relinquished, Hawai`i is not legally part of or "in the United States."

Dan Taylor

Haiku, Maui