Monday, October 6, 2008

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in Sale of Ceded Lands Case

On October 1, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the State of Hawaii's Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in Docket 07-1372, Hawaii v. Office of Hawaii Affairs. The Court will consider the following question presented:
In the Joint Resolution to Acknowledge the 100th Anniversary of the January 17, 1893 Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Congress acknowledged and apologized for the United States’ role in that overthrow. The question here is whether this symbolic resolution strips Hawaii of its sovereign authority to sell, exchange, or transfer 1.2 million acres of state land—29 percent of the total land area of the State and almost all the land owned by the State—unless and until it reaches a political settlement with native Hawaiians about the status of that land.
This appeal was taken by the State of Hawaii after the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that all ceded lands from the public lands trust may not be sold or transferred to third parties until the claims of the native Hawaiians to the ceded lands have been resolved. Hawaii v. Office of Hawaii Affairs, 177 P.3d 884 (2008).

Links to various case documents, pleadings, and orders can be found at the SCOTUSBLOG.

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