The Latest: Attorney general speaks on Hawaiian voting order

28 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

National digest: Nov. 28, 2015.

Supreme Court justice on Friday issued a temporary stay blocking the counting of votes in an election that would be a significant step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance. Kennedy on Friday ordered officials in Hawaii not to count ballots or name the winners of an election there in which only people of native Hawaiian ancestry could vote.

Native Hawaiians are voting to elect delegates for a convention next year to come up with a self-governance document to be ratified by Native Hawaiians. The justice’s order was a response to an emergency application from Hawaii residents who said the election violated the 15th Amendment, which bars race discrimination in voting. He apparently acted on his own, and his order may mean only that he wanted to preserve the status quo over a holiday weekend until the full court could consider the matter. Under a definition in a 2011 law, only descendants of “the aboriginal peoples who, before 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian islands” are eligible to vote. “No public official will be elected or nominated; no matters of federal, state or local law will be determined,” the judge, J.

Michael Seabright, wrote last month. “A Native Hawaiian governing entity may recommend change, but cannot alter the legal landscape on its own.” After the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, refused to intercede, the challengers urged Justice Kennedy to step in. “Enormous political, social and economic consequences are at stake,” they wrote. “The delegates chosen through this election will decide whether to adopt a new government that will affect every individual living in the state.” “Applicants will have no remedy if the votes in this election are counted and the results certified,” they added. “This election cannot be undone.” In 2000, in Rice v. Michael Seabright in Honolulu ruled last month the purpose of the private election is to establish self-determination for the indigenous people of Hawaii.

Hawaii, No. 15A551, the state said the challengers “are seeking nothing less than to halt the private political activity of a group of Native Hawaiians to decide how and whether to move forward with forming a potentially self-governing entity.” Richard L. Hasen, an election law specialist at the University of California, Irvine, said Justice Kennedy’s order was reminiscent of the stay issued by the Supreme Court in Bush v. At least three people have died in fast-moving floodwaters in Texas as freezing rain and flooding pummeled the state and other parts of the central United States on Friday, with forecasters warning that the chilling weather would worsen over the holiday weekend.

In North Texas, where more than four inches of rain fell overnight in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — pushing the annual rainfall total into the record books — three people died after being washed away in the floodwaters. Customer kills Waffle House employee over smoking ban: A customer fatally shot an employee at a Waffle House restaurant in Mississippi on Friday after she asked him not to smoke, police said. The customer, Johnny Max Mount, had argued with an employee after being told that he could not smoke, Dobbs said. “He pulled out a handgun and shot her in the head,” Dobbs said. Those who support the election say it’s an opportunity to create their own government for the first time since 1893, when American businessmen — backed by U.S. New Orleans police identify suspect in playground shooting: The New Orleans police on Friday identified a suspect in a shooting last weekend at a playground that wounded 17 people.

Man held in the fatal shooting of girl in Cleveland: A 19-year-old was arrested Friday in the fatal shooting of a 5-month-old girl who was in the back seat of a car while her mother and grandmother drove to a grocery store last month, authorities said.

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