ABA BODY OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORTED THE AKAKA BILL
During its mid-year meetings in Chicago on Feb. 13, the policy-making body of the American Bar Association voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to urge Congress to pass legislation to establish a process to provide federal recognition for a Native Hawaiian governing entity. Such legislation, S. 147, proposed by Sen. Daniel Akaka, is currently pending in Congress.
The Native Hawaiian resolution passed by a nearly unanimous vote among the 550 delegates representing 400,000 ABA members. The ABA is composed of lawyers from all practice areas and all political persuasions. This enthusiastic vote should serve to jumpstart passage of Sen. Akaka's legislation.
The ABA's mission is to be the national representative of the legal profession, serving the public and the profession by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the law.
By passing the resolution, the delegates said yes to the establishment by Congress of a process that would provide Native Hawaiians the same status afforded to America's other indigenous groups, American Indians and Native Alaskans.
The blessing by this country's largest and most prestigious legal organization would appear to put to rest the primary legal arguments advanced by this bill's opponents.
In 1993, Congress adopted the Apology Resolution. which acknowledged that the U.S.-sponsored overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom was illegal, and issued an apology to the Native Hawaiian people. Now Congress has the opportunity to provide meat to its previous resolution.
The ABA's passage of this resolution could not be more timely. There are over 165 federal laws that bring millions of dollars worth of federal programs to assist Native Hawaiians. Yet those programs are under attack in the courts. The Akaka bill would protect these programs.
The American Bar Association's support for Hawai'i's indigenous people sends a strong message that a process for Native Hawaiian recognition follows the rule of law and provides great impetus for Congress to take immediate action to pass the Akaka bill.
Alan Van Etten
Hawai'i state delegate, American Bar Association
I do not want nor need the Akaka Bill. As expected members of the bar are not listening to Hawaiians. They didn't listen then nor are they listening now. They are full of sh*t. Tell me like it is. If you wanna make money off of us... just say so but I have a very low tolerance for Bullsh*t.
Say it like it is. Don't deceive and don't try to deceive. Seriously. The worse part is that they insult our intelligence as though we don't know it's all about the money *wink wink* because we do. We not stupid.