Saturday, October 9, 2004

Candidate can run,
ruling says

Hawaii's high court decides a complaint
about citizenship was not properly served

Democratic state House candidate Cort Gallup, whose citizenship and eligibility have been called into question, will be able to run for office because court procedures were not followed, according to a decision yesterday by the state Supreme Court.

Gallup, who is running against Republican Rep. Chris Halford for the 11th House District of Makena to Kihei on Maui, had said he was born in Canada and was a member of the Cree Indian tribe but should be considered an American because treaties between the United States and Canada permitted American Indians who traveled across the border to hold U.S. citizenship.

Also in papers filed in his appeal, Gallup said that while his mother traces her ancestry to the Cree Indians, his father's citizenship is American "from his great-grandfather, Bradshaw Gallup, who was an American citizen born in Boston, Mass., in approximately 1840."

An earlier opinion from state Attorney General Mark Bennett noted that if Gallup is not a citizen, he cannot hold public office.

The Supreme Court, however, did not address the issue of the 1794 Jay treaty that allowed American Indians born in Canada to cross the border freely, to live and work in the United States and to access social services.

The court ruled that the complaint, filed by the Hawaii Republican Party, was not properly served on Gallup and therefore violated the court rules.

But the court said the GOP was free to pursue the case.

Brennon Morioka, GOP chairman, said he was exploring the ruling.

"We are very disappointed that the courts are not going to look more into the issue. We do not believe that Mr. Gallup is a citizen," Morioka said. "The Republicans will look into what other options are."

Gallup praised the decision.

"It reaffirms my faith in our judicial system," he said.

Halford said he had not seen the decision and declined to comment.



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