Ed Meese and Todd Gaziano, both of the Heritage Foundation, have an excellent article up at Human Events today on the Native Hawaiians bill.
The term “racist” is too often tossed around in politics, but it should be reserved for pieces of legislation like this.
Though the Supreme Court already rejected a similar scheme in 2000 that Hawaii had instituted, Daniel Akaka still wants his way: the Native Hawaiians Government Reorganization Act would create a separate, race-based government.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights considers (pdf) the legislation discriminatory on the basis of race.
The amazing thing is, as Mary Katherine Ham reports, a vast majority of Hawaiians are against it. Polls of Native Hawaiians are about split. Daniel Akaka and the Senate may impose this race-based system on Hawaii against its will.
The bill is due to come up in the Senate Thursday night, and it has a good chance of passing. That is, opponents cannot gather the 41 votes required to filibuster. Assume 55 Republican votes against, but subtract co-sponsors Norm Coleman, Lindsay Graham, Lisa Murkowski, Gordon Smith, and Ted Stevens. Make that 50.
I called Sen. John McCain’s office tonight. His press secretary says he supports the bill. Does it then follow that he will support cloture? She says she assumes he will, but will get back to me.
Further, the White House is hands off, declining to take a public position. Will President Bush again punt and sign an unconstitutional bill, counting on the courts to overturn it?