U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION ON RICE VS.

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CONGRESSMAN ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA From American Samoa U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE February 23, 2000

 CAYETANO SHAMEFUL FOR NATIVE HAWAIIANS:
 CONGRESSMAN FALEOMAVAEGA
OF AMERICAN SAMOA

Congressman Eni Faleomavaega today announced his disappointment and very serious concerns with the public announcement of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision issued today on Rice vs. Cayetano, which states essentially that Mr. Harold Rice's constitutional rights, under the Fifteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, have been violated since he was prohibited, under certain provisions of the Hawaii State Constitution and State law, to vote for the officers of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Faleomavaega said, "This is truly a sad day for our Native Hawaiian community. There are also serious implications for the Native American Indians, Native Alaskans and other indigenous peoples who are supposedly under the protection and trust authority of the U.S. Congress, as specifically mandated under the Territorial and plenary clauses of the Federal Constitution."

Faleomavaega further added, "Having read both the majority and dissenting opinions of this case, I find it most troubling for the majority members of the Supreme Court to simply ignore the 200 years of history and events that have completely transformed the fate and sad legacy our own country has provided for the Native Hawaiian people. What our country did, by our own admission through a Congressional resolution in which we apologized to the Native Hawaiian people for the illegal and unlawful takeover of their duly established sovereign government - - - and now by the stroke of a pen, the Native Hawaiians are to forget all that has happened? This is absurd, and just simply not right."

EDITOR’S NOTE:

For detailed information about Rice vs. Cayatano, see the following Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports:

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