Obama Administration Promoting Race-based Hawaiian Election
While Democrats always say that every vote must count and that there must be no interference with voter access, recent developments in the state of Hawaii prove President Obama is working to take advantage of limited access, race-based voting in that State.
This all began in Hawaii in 2011 when Act 195 was passed. It called for an election to take place in Hawaii but specified that only indigenous Native Hawaiians could vote. The purpose of the election was to enable Native Hawaiians to exercise their right to self-determination and discuss Tribal Nation self-governance. The election would choose 40 delegates to an aha, or constitutional convention.
To administer this restricted election a Native Hawaiian Roll Commission was established, funded by Hawaiian taxpayer dollars. This Roll Commission created a list of Native Hawaiians who would be eligible to vote. Additionally, the Commission restricted the registration roll to only those who agreed to these Declarations: “1) I affirm the unrelinquished sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people, and my intent to participate in the process of self-governance. 2) I have a significant cultural, social or civic connection to the Native Hawaiian community, and 3) I am a Native Hawaiian: a lineal descendant of the people who lived and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian islands prior to 1778, or a person who is eligible for the programs of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, or a direct lineal descendant of that person.”
So even if people could prove Native Hawaiian lineage, they could not vote unless they agreed to these three Declarations. In short, the results of the election were guaranteed before ballots were cast.
Yet some Hawaiians were placed on the vote registration list without their permission. And this list is kept on a private computer (server?) maintained by a private company in the state of New York.
Furthermore, Act 195 would enable this race-based minority to establish a form of government that might require all other Hawaiian residents to follow its laws. Voting was held from November 1 through November 30, 2015. However, Judicial Watch, representing disenfranchised indigenous plaintiffs in Hawaii, filed a Federal Lawsuit to stop the election. When the local court and 9th Circuit declined, Judicial Watch obtained an injunction from SCOTUS. Judicial Watch argued that mandating a minority of people to determine election results violates the First, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and the Voting Rights Act.
The Dept. of Interior (DOI) filed an amicus brief in the Appeal, arguing that over 500 Tribal Nations have already been allowed self-rule. But Michael Lilly, who once served as Attorney General of Hawaii, notes that Native Hawaiians were never a Tribe, and that neither the DOI nor the White House has the authority to designate Native Hawaiians as a Tribal Nation. Only Congress has that authority. However, seizing Congressional authority has become a trademark of the Obama Administration.
What is more dangerous is that this process, if allowed to proceed, would enable a race-based minority to establish a “government-to-government” relationship between Native Hawaiians and the U.S. Government. The Department of Interior actually argued that “the native Hawaiian community itself should determine whether and how to organize a government.” But since Native Hawaiians do not live on a federally designated reservation, the boundaries of the area governed are not clear. Michael Lilly has stated that this is not just an unconstitutional overreach of tribal self-governance but could provide an argument for part of Hawaii seceding from the Union. The language that implements Act 195 is very murky, perhaps intentionally so, with regard to whether any part of Hawaii would be governed by a new Native Hawaiian tribal constitution.
The Obama Administration used the DOI to file an amicus brief in the case. Apparently, he and his party, the Democrats now want to create a nexus between a geographical area and an ethnic group with the unique right to vote on that area’s, and perhaps the state’s, constitution.
But in a startling and historic act of defiance, on December 15, 2015 the organization conducting the election defied the Supreme Court Injunction and announced that not just the top 40, but all 196 persons who ran as candidates would be seated as delegates at the February 2, 2016 constitutional convention. Judicial Watch and other parties filed a Motion at SCOTUS to find the parties in contempt of the Supreme Court’s Temporary Injunction.
If Hawaiians can usurp governing authority in the state of Hawaii, this could be a precedent for other race-based groups to do the same. For example, New Mexico is now half Hispanic. They could argue that they should be able to vote for their own government since the land was formerly occupied by their ancestors.
This strategy to empower a minority of Hawaiians to write a new constitution employs old tactics of the Democratic Party. These tactics include a focus on voter qualifications, minority rights, and identity politics. Democrats have already stretched voter qualifications by enabling foreign nationals to use matricula consular cards and drivers’ licenses to vote.
This startling development has Obama’s fingerprints all over it. He was raised in Hawaii, likes to use Federal agencies to write policy -- in this case it’s the DOI -- and his Party has worked for one hundred years to establish race-based, segregated neighborhoods in the nation’s largest cities.
It is highly unlikely that SCOTUS will go along with this. But since they created a new civil right for same sex marriage they may see indigenous people’s control of state constitutions as a new civil right. A right that is now being fine-tuned through an application of identity politics.