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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


DATELINE: February 29, 2016, Honolulu, Hawai`i
CONTACT: Kelsey Meehan, (808) 591-9193, kmeehan@grassrootinstitute.org

Grassroot Institute Says ‘Aha Constitution Shows Importance of Lawsuit

Watchdog group says Native Hawaiian governing documents prove that concerns about a race-based nation are well-founded 

HONOLULU, HAWAII–February 29, 2016–Today, the Grassroot Institute expressed concerns about the provisions of the newly-crafted Native Hawaiian Constitution, offered by the ‘Aha as the potential governing document for a new Hawaiian tribe. Pointing to the provision that bases membership in the tribe on race and blood quantum, Grassroot President Keli’i Akina explained that the draft Constitution demonstrates the importance of the ongoing lawsuit against the use of the Native Hawaiian Roll in a race-based election.

“It is disappointing to see that–despite its claim to continue the legacy of the Native Hawaiian Kingdom– this Constitution does not follow the inclusive spirit of the Kingdom, which was not racially-based,” said Keli’i Akina, President of the Grassroot Institute, who is also a plaintiff in the suit. “The lawsuit against the Na’i Aupuni election is currently before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and this Constitution shows that the issues in that suit are still very much alive. The race-based Hawaiian tribe it envisions will require another race-based election, and our challenge to the Constitutionality of that election is still strong.”

Dr. Akina continued, “We have grave concerns about the legal claims in this document and plan to release a full analysis soon. In the meantime, however, the stubborn insistence on perpetuating an unconstitutional ratification or election that wastes millions of dollars is a betrayal of Hawaiian values and priorities. Instead of pursuing a political scheme that the Hawaiian people have clearly rejected, organizers should be looking at ways to help Hawaiians with the issues they care about most, such as housing, education, job training, and health care.”
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Kelsey Meehan at (808) 591-9193 or email kmeehan@grassrootinstitute.org.

About the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii:
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited, accountable government throughout Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region.  Read more about us athttp://www.grassrootinstitute.org/
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About Grassroot President:
Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.,  is a recognized scholar, educator, public policy spokesperson, and community leader in Hawaii.  Currently, he is President/CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a public policy think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, free markets and limited, accountable government.  An expert in East-West Philosophy and ethics, Dr. Akina has taught at universities in China and the United States and continues as an adjunct instructor at Hawaii Pacific University.  Dr. Akina was a candidate for Trustee at Large of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the 2014 General Election run-off.