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SCOTUScast 4-3-09 featuring Tom Caso

Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs

April 3, 2009

Anthony T. (Tom) Caso

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 SCOTUScast 4-3-09 featuring Tom Caso - MP3
Running Time: 00:09:01

Bio for Tom Caso

On Wednesday, February 25, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The Supreme Court here considers the claims of native Hawaiians to land held by the State of Hawaii. The case involves a dispute over the legal effect of Congress’s 1993 Apology Resolution, which described, and apologized to native Hawaiians for, the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. When Hawaii was annexed by the United States in 1898, the Hawaiian government ceded almost 2 million acres of land to the United States Government, most of which was later transferred to the State of Hawaii in the act admitting Hawaii as a state in 1959. Under the Admission Act, a portion of funds derived from the sale of these ceded lands must be used for the benefit of native Hawaiians, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs was established to oversee such funds. Following the Apology Resolution, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs filed suits in state court seeking an injuction to prevent the State of Hawaii from selling any ceded land. Although the trial court did not grant relief, the Supreme Court of Hawaii on appeal ordered the injunction to be issued, arguing that the Congress had acknowledged, in the Apology Resolution, “unrelinquished claims over ceded lands” by native Hawaiians. The Supreme Court now considers whether the 1993 Apology Resolution requires the State of Hawaii to reach a political settlement with native Hawaiians before selling ceded lands. Appellate litigator Tom Caso discusses the case.


Oral Argument - February 25, 2008:

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