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High court won't take on Native Hawaiian recognition
Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a case challenging the Interior Department's refusal to recognize Native Hawaiians under the federal acknowledgment regulations.

The move lets stand a decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that held that Interior has a "rational basis" to exclude Native Hawaiians from the recognition regulations. The court said the question was a "political" one to be decided by Congress.

Native Hawaiians are backing a bill that would recognize a Native Hawaiian governing authority. The bill has languished in the Senate for nearly five years despite passing the House.

9th Circuit Decision:
Kahawaiolaa v. Norton (October 27, 2004)

Hawaiian Recognition Bill:
Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2005 (S.147)

Relevant Links:
Native Hawaiian Sovereignty Site -
Native Hawaiians, Department of Interior -
Native Hawaiian Federal Recognition Site -

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