The Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act

Isn’t it a disaster ready to happen?
A race-based government? Endless lawsuit challenging who is and isn’t Hawaiian?
Can the US congress actually pass that law?

I’m not a US citizen and much less a constitutional scholar, but it sounds like a mess ready to explode.


According to the Wikipedia entry, it’s similar to contracts that the US government has with many tribes in the continental US. Those don’t seem to have destroyed the US.

Thanks, Punoqllads.

Ají de Gallina – I have to ask: do you know anything about Hawaiian history? If not, at least read the following three Wikipedia links:

The Great Mahele (very short)
Hawaiian Homelands (a bit longer)
Legal Status of Hawaii (longest of the three)

I lived there for 6 years and, while that gave me some minor familiarity with the issues, it also allowed me to appreciate their complexity and know that I’m in no way qualified to address them.

I am familiar enough to be able to show my ideas.
Comparing reservations to this law is at least extremely controversial. I understand that the role of the US government in the end of the monarchy and later anexation is complex to say the least.

However you can understand that the bill would create an almost completely parallel government in Hawai’i and that it would be race based by law.
Reservations by their very nature are more or less enclosed communities. Native Hawaiians (whatever that ends up meaning) are so intermingled to the state the creating another entity would be creating almost the 51st state.

The tribes, on the other hand…

All I know is the last queen of Hawaii was Irish.

Lilly O’Killarney.


I thought she was Jewish. She did write “Aloha Oy”, after all.

I forgot to include my main point and instead stopped with background – the things you’re worried about are happening already. Arguments about blood quanta (IIRC, it was 1/32 Hawaiian ancestry) and various native Hawaiian exceptions (e.g., land rights) have been occurring for decades. If this were a “disaster ready to happen”, I think it would have happened already.

These two things may be made contradictory. That is, if “Native Hawaiian” is defined by residency at a certain point in time, it is then specifically not race-based. It was an argument I recall hearing often – Portugese, Chinese, etc. people who resided there way back when were excluded from OHA programs.

But if the definition is expanded slightly, that issue can be resolved. (Of course, IIRC, there was also a problem with proving it, records not necessarily being kept very well.) It looks to me – based only the Wikipedia article – that that’s what they’re going for, while also including anyone who has previously qualified (which, yes, AIUI, was based on blood quanta).

If the “reorganized” (i.e., new) native government turns out to be just a land trust, then it doesn’t seem like any big deal. If it does take on some form of civil and criminal jurisdiction in parallel with the state of Hawai’i (and potentially other states in which native Hawai’ians reside), then it seems like there’s a lot of potential for confusion.

Unnecessary. If you ask me all the tribal governments should be abolished and recognized as merely ethnic groups.

How do you feel about foreign countries, Curtis?

Seems to me that the entire USA should be restructured to allow localities to have more self governance, similar to Native American Communities.

There’s no reason that it should be perfectly legal for a tribe to open a Casino, yet 4 miles away (if the locals are okay with it) they can’t.

If the state allows such a thing, they can. But tribes are sovereign entities and not subject to state law. A town is under the jurisdiction of the state the town is in, while a tribal reservation isn’t.

I understand, my point is that many states (although not all) represent the interest of selected areas, ignoring the more sparsely populated areas wishes in favor of pandering to the more densely populated ones.

While this makes sense from a political standpoint, allowing more self governance to individual areas makes more sense in a “self determination” point of view.

I’m not convinced of that. There’s a certain metropolis/hinterland interdependency dynamic, & the idea that the rural areas are a different area to be differently governed may not work.

Tribes are not foreign countries. It’s time for them to face history and just assimilate into American society. And the tribal reservations are either supported by casinos or crapholes (the worst being Pine Ridge).