As noted by Kathryn, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, a.k.a., the Akaka Bill, passed the House last night, 245–164. The more intriguing vote, perhaps, was the vote on an amendment to the Akaka bill proposed by Rep. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.).
The Flake amendment would’ve clarified that nothing in the Akaka bill could be interpreted to exempt the Native Hawaiian Governmental Authority from complying with the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Flake amendment failed 177–233 (Democrats voted 18 for 225 against; Republicans voted 159 for 8 against).
The salient portion of the Fourteenth Amendment as pertains to the Akaka bill is as follows: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Constituents of those congressmen who voted against the Flake amendment may wish to ask their respective representatives to identify with particularity the clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment they believe should have no application to the Native Hawaiian Governmental Authority.