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Thursday, January 18, 2001

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A federal judge lets Hawaiian homesteaders,
practitioners intervene
in the Barrett suit

By Pat Omandam

A federal judge granted motions yesterday that allow homesteaders and traditional cultural practitioners to intervene separately in the case of Patrick Barrett vs. State of Hawaii.

Carl Christensen, staff attorney for the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., which represents the 'Ilio'ulaokalani Coalition, said the coalition believes that the native gathering rights found in Article 12 of the Hawaii State Constitution will withstand this constitutional challenge.

Barrett claims that Article 12 is unconstitutional because of last February's Rice decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Attorney Robert Klein, a retired Hawaii Supreme Court associate justice who represents the State Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, said he's pleased the court allowed the homesteaders to join the case.

Klein said the basic argument by homesteaders is that this isn't a case to be decided solely under the 14th Amendment and that the court should look at the broader relationship between native Hawaiian homesteaders and the U.S. government.

"In other words, it shouldn't be decided on a racial preference basis, but rather on the basis of the entire relationship over 80 years and what Congress was attempting to accomplish when it passed the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act in 1921," he said.

The federal court denied a motion to intervene by a group of Hawaiians represented by attorney Emmett Lee Loy. OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona said OHA's motion to intervene will probably be ruled on sometime next week.

She's confident that the agency will be allowed to join the state when a preliminary injunction hearing is held March 12.

OHA Special

Rice vs. Cayetano arguments

Rice vs. Cayetano decision

Holo I Mua: Sovereignty Roundtable

E-mail to City Desk

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