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7/22/2005 02:16:00 AM | Timothy

Akaka Bill
Supreme Court nominee John Roberts argued on the side of Hawaiian Natives in the Rice case, and he lost. In response to that loss, Senator Akaka introduced a bill in which would treat Hawaiian Natives like Native Americans. Here's some news on the Akaka bill: (via hawaiiankingdom.info, which has more info and links)
As the Akaka bill gains more national exposure, powerful voices are getting involved.

In a coup for the bill's supporters, Viet Dinh, a former assistant attorney general at the Justice Department under President Bush, has written a paper arguing that Congress has both the moral and legal authority to enact the bill.

Dinh, an architect of the USA Patriot Act after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, wrote that the Constitution gives Congress the power to legislate regarding Indian tribes, and that power extends to Native Hawaiians.

"The answer to both questions is yes, especially given the moral and legal obligations the United States acquired for overthrowing the then-sovereign kingdom of Hawai'i in 1893," Dinh wrote.
If the bill does come up for a vote, I wonder if Republicans are going to argue that the bill is racist? How extreme rhetoric can Senators use while extolling the virtues of Roberts? If it really IS apartheid, as some right-wingers claim, then would we want to nominate someone who argued the Native Hawaiians' side? even as an advocate?



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