Thursday, August 13, 2015


A group of four Native Hawaiians and two non-Native Hawaiians have filed suit against the State of Hawai`i and subsidiary agencies to halt a racially exclusive election and constitutional convention designed to establish a sovereign Hawaiian nation.
Working closely with the Grassroot Institute of Hawai`i, the suit was filed by non-profit watchdog group Judicial Watch, represented by former Hawai`i Attorney General Michael Lilly.  Plaintiffs to the suit include native Hawaiians Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute, Melissa Moniz, Kealii Makekau, and Pedro Gapero, as well as non-Native Hawaiians Joseph Kent and Sean Mitsui.

The suit alleges that the election, sponsored by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (through a contracted organization Na’i Aupuni), using the Native Hawaiian Roll (a voter list compiled and certified by the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission), violates the U.S. Constitution by pursuing a race-based and politically qualified election to establish a racially exclusive nation. The suit thus argues that the State and its agencies are in violation of the First Amendment, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, and the Voting Rights Act.

The plaintiffs represent three categories:  1) Native Hawaiians whose names were placed on the Native Hawaiian Roll without their consent; 2) Native Hawaiians who are excluded from the Roll because they cannot in good conscience affirm the political declaration required in order to enroll; and 3) Non-Native Hawaiians who were racially discriminated against when excluded from the Roll because of race.