The Corner

Native Hawaiians and Obama Overreach

As is its habit, the Obama administration chose a Friday afternoon to announce an important initiative, namely its consideration of “an administrative rule that would facilitate the reestablishment of a government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community.” As is also its habit, the administration is attempting an end-run of Congress here, which has repeatedly refused to go down the road of making Native Hawaiians into some sort of Indian tribe — and rightly so. The Supreme Court has made clear that Native Hawaiians are an ethnic group — and they are, conversely, not a political entity — so that singling them out for special treatment is unconstitutional, as well as divisive and unfair. The Bush administration and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights said so, too, as did a National Review cover story, but apparently the Obama administration is committed to playing the race card, whenever and wherever possible.

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