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On Annexation of Hawaii, Scalia Fails Constitutionality Test

A joint resolution of Congress doesn't empower the United States to acquire another country. Only a treaty can do that.

MARCH 7, 2015·By WILLIAMSON CHANG 

In Civil Beat recently, Justice Antonin Scalia, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, made two critical points on the annexation of Hawaii: First, he stated that a joint resolution of the United States could acquire the territory of Hawaii — a foreign, sovereign and independent nation state. Second, he stated that the Constitution permitted the use of a joint resolution instead of a treaty.

He was wrong on both points.

First, a joint resolution is merely a law, an act of Congress. It has no power to acquire the territory of a foreign, sovereign state. If such a thing were possible, Hawaii itself could have, by an act of its Legislature, acquired the United States. Second, the only mode by which the United States could acquire Hawaii, an independent and sovereign nation like the United States, would be by treaty.

Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Justice Antonin Scalia

In answering a student’s question regarding the United States’ annexation of Hawaii, Supreme Court Justice Scalia overlooked important constitutional provisions.

Second, the acquisition of Hawaii by a joint resolution of Congress would undermine the Constitution. The use of a joint resolution in place of a treaty would be an “end run” around an enumerated power — the power over foreign affairs that is delegated solely to the president and the Senate. The House has no power as to foreign affairs and does not vote on or ratify treaties.

Moreover, the use of joint resolution to accomplish a treaty with a foreign sovereign undermines the super-majority required of the Senate as to the ratification of treaties. The Senate must ratify such measures by a two-thirds majority of those Senators present.

This is made clear in the U.S. Constitution, Article II, Clause 2: “[The President] shall have the Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur …”

The inability of President William McKinley to garner the necessary two-thirds vote in the Senate to ratify the Treaty of Annexation of 1897 led the administration to seek annexation by a mere act of Congress — a joint resolution. The administration could pass a joint resolution but not a treaty. This is precisely why McKinley attempted to annex by joint resolution.

https://www.civilbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/image5.jpg" alt="McKinley"/>

President William McKinley, whose administration sought the annexation of Hawaii.

Many are ignorant of or deceived about the joint resolution and the acquisition of Hawaii. Many do not know the specifics of the U.S. Constitution or the history of Hawaii. Yet, we expect more from Justice Scalia, for he has great power over the future of Native Hawaiians. His exchange with Jacob Bryan Aki, as published in Civil Beat, showed a surprising lack of constitutional knowledge. Aki, a Hawaiian student at George Washington University, asked Justice Scalia the following question during a class visit to the Supreme Court on Feb. 11:

“Does the Constitution provide Congress the power to annex a foreign nation through a joint resolution rather than a treaty?”

Scalia answered by first turning the question back at Aki.  “Why would a treaty be needed,” he asked. “There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits Congress from annexing a foreign state through the means of a joint resolution. If the joint resolution is passed through both the U.S. House and Senate, then signed by the president, it went through a ‘process.’ ”

Allen et al. vs. Scalia

Let us pretend that Scalia was on the floor of the U.S. Senate in the summer of 1898. Sen. William V. Allen of Nebraska and others would have reminded him that a joint resolution is only an act of Congress. It has no power to reach out and acquire foreign territory or a foreign country.

“A joint resolution if passed becomes a statute law. It has no other or greater force. It is the same as if it were entitled ‘an act.’ That is its legal classification,” said Allen. “It is therefore impossible for the government of the United States to reach across its boundaries into the dominion of another government and annex that government or the persons or property therein.

“But the United States may do so under the treaty making power, which I shall hereafter consider.”

In addition, Allen said, “Mr. President, how can a joint resolution such as this be operative? What is the legislative jurisdiction of Congress? Does it extend over Hawaii? May we in this anticipatory manner reach out beyond the sea and assert our authority under a resolution of Congress within the confines of that independent nation? Where is our right, our grant of power, to do this? Where do we find it?

“The joint resolution itself, it is admitted, amounts to nothing so far as carrying any effective force is concerned. It does not bring that country within our boundaries. It does not consummate itself.”

Moreover, Sen. Thomas Turley of Tennessee stated:

“It is admitted that if the Joint Resolution is adopted, the Republic of Hawaii can determine whether or not it will accept the provisions contained in the joint resolution. In other words, the adoption of the resolution does not consummate the transaction.

“The Republic of Hawaii does not become a part or the territory of the United States by the adoption of the joint resolution …”

Sen. John Coit Spooner of Wisconsin added his view: “Of course, our power would not be extraterritorial.”

United States Library of Congress

Senator A.O. Bacon

Sen. A.O. Bacon, who questioned the constitutionality of the United States’ proposed annexation of Hawaii.

Sen. A.O. Bacon of Georgia made the same point: “Under the law of the equal sovereignty of states, one independent and sovereign nation such as the United States cannot take another nation, such as Hawaii, by means or its own legislative act.”

Bacon noted that if the United States could take Hawaii by joint resolution, it could so take Jamaica. If that were true, any nation could acquire any other. Hawaii could annex the United States. “If the President of the United States can do it in the case of Hawaii, he can with equal propriety and legality do it in the case of Jamaica …”

Sen. Stephen White of California noted annexation by joint resolution was unprecedented: in American history: “… there is no instance where by a joint resolution it has been attempted not only to annex a foreign land far remote from our shores, but also to annihilate a nation, to withdraw it from the sovereign societies of the world as a government.”

On the issue of the constitutionality of the use of a joint resolution, Bacon made it clear: Hawaii could only be acquired by a Treaty. “If Hawaii is to be annexed, it ought certainly to be annexed by a constitutional method; and if by a constitutional method, it cannot be annexed, no Senator ought to desire its annexation.”

Finally, Bacon — one of the most senior members of the Senate — predicted that the annexation of Hawaii by joint resolution would do great damage to the Constitution and the Union.

“If we pass the joint resolution, we enter upon a revolution which shall convert this country from a peaceful country into a warlike country. If we pass the resolution, we transform this country from one engaged in its own concerns into one which shall immediately proceed to intermeddle with the concerns of all the world.

“If we pass the joint resolution, we inaugurate a revolution which shall convert this country from one designed for the advancement and the prosperity and the happiness of our citizens into one which shall seek its gratification in dominion and domination and foreign acquisition.”

Native Hawaiians have forgotten that many Americans stood with them in 1898. After all, the Treaty of 1897, the only legal means for taking Hawaii, failed not because the Senate of the Republic of Hawaii failed to ratify the Treaty. It was the United States Senate that did not ratify the Treaty.

In conclusion, the joint resolution could not acquire Hawaii. Moreover, it was unconstitutional. Justice Scalia’s comments are evidence of the pervasive and widespread falsehoods as to annexation that have spread to the highest political and judicial offices in the United States. The myth of annexation is a deliberate deception that has oppressed the people of Hawaii for 122 years.

Historic quotes above are from Volume 31 of the Congressional Record pages 6142 to 6712, the verbatim record of the Senate debate in 1898.

About the Author

CONTRIBUTOR

Williamson Chang 

Williamson Chang is a professor of Law and member of the faculty senate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Professor Chang has been teaching at the University of Hawaii School of Law for 37 years. He specializes in water rights, Native Hawaiian rights, the legal history of Hawaii and conflict of laws.
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Community Voices aims to encourage broad discussion on many topics of community interest. It’s kind of a cross between Letters to the Editor and op-eds. This is your space to talk about important issues or interesting people who are making a difference in our world. Columns generally run about 800 words (yes, they can be shorter or longer) and we need a photo of the author and a bio. We welcome video commentary and other multimedia formats. Send to news@civilbeat.com.

 

  • Kama Ki · Following ·  Top Commenter · Owner at Kamaki's Authentic Hawaiian Adventures
    Hey Conklin, Kuroiwa, et al;
    If I stole your car and repainted it, switched plates, forged title and registration documents, and drove it all over Honolulu, even parking it in your personal parking stall whenever I please whose car is it yours or mine?
    Did anyone ever teach you right from wrong, or do you aspire to don Scalia's dirty robe? Spare me your barrage of pseudo legal speak and get real. Truth before fiction, fact before fantasy. You can cite all the laws you like from here to "Kingdom" come... Nothing you can say or do Regarding this issue will ever suffice to make it right.
    You can never stand in the light until you step out of the darkness. You make a mockery of the obvious and it is not pleasing to watch.
    • Jr Kuroiwa ·  Top Commenter · University of Hawaii at Manoa
      Kama Ki, I’m responding to you as you challenged our moral Hawaiian standards. To steal a car? To repaint, switch plates, and forged title and registration? If it was done by my Hawaiian family member, it would shame our family name. Kama, if you are saying the United States stole the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893, it is all fiction. The subjects of the Kingdom, as the Committee of Safety, removed the Queen from her throne and removed her appointed Cabinet. No one else. The remaining government, the elected Nobles and Representatives, were left in place. The Committee of Safety, became the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands. The security for the Committee of Safety were all former members of the Kingdom’s National Guard, known as the Honolulu Rifles that Kalakaua disbanded in 1890. Kama, all the information are recorded in history for all to read and understand. And, I do love to stand in the light and stand in Hawaii’s sun. I would never mock my Kanaka Maoli family.
      Reply · Like · March 8 at 6:23pm
    • Amelia Gora · Works at Self-Employed
      Jr Kuroiwa sad to see that many kanaka maoli don't know the true history....know that Premeditation has been uncovered which shows the conspiracies, the pillaging, piracy of a neutral, friendly, non-violent nation by broke ass/bankrupt nations including the U.S. and England....readhttp://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F0CE6DC1F3FEF33A2575AC0A9679C94629ED7CF for starters then read all 537 issues of the IOLANI - The Royal Hawk news on the web theiolani.blogspot.com or accelerate your learning by reading the latest Legal Notice to President Obama, Governor Ige, et. als. because the Royal Families still exist...the land owners, the true Hawaiian Kingdom exists whether anybody likes it or not...and are the only parties to the permanent Treaty of 1850 at http://theiolani.blogspot.com/2015/03/special-posting-saturday-3715.html oh by the way Scalia is bound by the U.S. Constitution because the treaty supersedes State, Federal laws....and it was locked in place before the usurpation of the American people as documented by the bankers Secret Constitution in 1871 with the information thanks to and by whistle blowers Karen Hudes, World Bank; Vladimir Putin, Russia - who denounces One World Order/New World Order, etc. which can be seen at http://maoliworld.ning.com/forum/topics/updated-chronological-history-of-our-queen-liliuokalani-by-amelia and http://maoliworld.ning.com/forum/topics/updated-chronological-history-of-our-queen-liliuokalani-by-amelia by the way appears that my letter is the only one on the whitehouse website http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/formsubmissions/54/c1dc2d2b35964f0392b21da2d9b05b42.pdf bet you that even you don't know that the U.S.A. became the U.S. and the American Empire documented in court case Peacock vs. the Republic of Hawaii in 1899.....bet you didn't know that the treasonous persons/conspirators/pirates /pillagers also placed Queen Liliuokalani back on the throne for a day in 1915 to celebrate the European's Balboa who visited the Pacific Ocean in 1514, etc....... empower yourself with knowledge, then blast the hell out of those who lie.......and by the way spread the truth and deny that the entity House of Representatives turned conspirator, treasonous persons supported by the U.S. and the American Empire, turned Provisional government, then Republic of Hawaii, then Territory of Hawaii, and State of Hawaii by U.S. President Eisenhower's executive order, are successors to our Hawaiian Kingdom as claimed in "THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII TO REGISTER AND CONFIRM ITS TITLE TO CERTAIN LAND SITUATE IN LAHAINA, ISLAND OF MAUI, TERRITORY OF HAWAII, AND KNOWN AS PA PELEKANE" (1912), HAWAII REPORTS Vol 21, Supreme Court of Hawaii, RH 345.4 H32 v.21 pg. 177 
      "That the Territory, as successor to the Kingdom of Hawaii, has obtained title to this lot by prescription."

      There was no treaty of Annexation, the Kamehameha III - Kauikeaouli's heirs and successors exists and are parties to the 1850 Treaty of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States of America....,. ;) Many nations are watching us because we're from a neutral, friendly, non-violent nation and we're surrounded by Pirates/Pillagers etc....wicked lot.... aloha.........the best to Kanaka Maoli, Konohiki, Assistant Konohiki, and Friends
      Reply · Like · 5 · Edited · March 9 at 12:20am
    • Robert Manning ·  Top Commenter · Church College of Hawaii
      Jr Kuroiwa, the Committee of Safety were United States businessmen, descendants of missionaries. Robert Wilcox was ready to kill them all but the Queen knew that if he did many more would come.
      Reply · Like · 2 · March 9 at 4:54pm
  • Kealii Makekau ·  Top Commenter · School of Hard Knocks, The University of Life
    I totally see the justices point as he's laid it out;.
    Why would a treaty be needed,” he asked. “There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits Congress from annexing a foreign state through the means of a joint resolution. If the joint resolution is passed through both the U.S. House and Senate, then signed by the president, it went through a ‘process.’ ”.

    Exactly the process was between the republic of hawaii and the united states. A treaty could not be reached so a joint resolution was put fourth instead, of course it makes sense because one side. 
    the republic" is desperate and will do anything to give itself to the u.s.a and the U.S doesn't really care on how they receive the goods they just received it and passed something "JR" in the books saying ok we got it and thus we will take care of it.

    NOW WHY could and did ... See More
  • Kama Ki · Following ·  Top Commenter · Owner at Kamaki's Authentic Hawaiian Adventures
    Donning a robe and looking down ones nose does not constitute the validity expected and required of such a position of authority any more than a joint resolution can designate ownership of a foreign sovereign state. A putrid excuse from a corrupted source does not the truth make.
  • Kai Landow · Following ·  Top Commenter
    Of course there was no annexation and where is the proof? In 1946 the United States was required to report its list of non self governing territories. This is why Hawai'i was on the Decolonization list until the plebiscite in 1959. The history of this shows an admission of fact by the United States that Hawai'i was not annexed. I wonder why we are bogged down with this point? We can move on and ask why the United Nations accepted the communication from the Americans on the status of their trusteeship in 1959, that was clearly manipulated. Arguing this point, annexation, that is long settled, may damage our effort to liberate Ko Hawai'i Pae Aina. I feel if we reopen this issue we have won then we give ammunition to the occupying nation. The question presented to courts of remedy will not address this issue, as it no lon... See More
  • Williamson Chang · Princeton University
    Dear Dr. Conklin:
    The Joint Resolution was not capable of ratifying the Treaty of 1897. The Treaty of 1897, drafted by representatives of both the Republic of Hawaii and the United States specified the manner in which the Treaty was to be ratified by both countries: Article VII of the Treaty states: 
    ARTICLE VII.
    This treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, on the one part; and by the President of the Republic of Hawaii, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, in accordance with the constitution of said Republic, on the other; and the ratifications hereof shall be exchanged at Washington as soon as possible.
    In witness whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the above articles and have hereunto affixed their seals.
    Done in duplicate at the city of Washington, this sixteenth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven.
    Article VII is an agreement between the United States and the Republic of Hawaii that ratification shall take only a certain form: The United States shall ratified by “the President of the United States, and with the advice and consent of the Senate,”... This phrase clearly refers to Article II of the United States Constitution which provides as follows: 
    Article II, Section 2 [1] He [The President of the United States] shall have the power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties , provided two thirds of the Senators present concur,...”.
    When a treaty, as agreed to by two nations, specifies the means of ratification, the parties must ratify in the manner so specified. A treaty is not deemed ratified unless done so by the terms both nations agreed. The Joint Resolution is an act of Congress, a law and mere legislation. The Joint Resolution required a majority vote of the House to pass. It went on to the Senate where it only required a majority vote to pass. Whether or not it received a two thirds vote is irrelevant. Article II, Section 2, [1] makes clear that the House does not participate in the ratification of a treaty with a foreign power—except in the case of a treaty by which Congress directly admits a foreign state as State in the Union. This was the case as to Texas.
    Most important, the Republic of Hawaii did not consider the Joint Resolution to be ratification of the Treaty of 1897. The Republic of Hawaii considered the terms of the Joint Resolution to vary significantly, by the interpretation of the Republic of Hawaii, from the terms of the Treaty of Hawaii. These two instruments, the Treaty of 1897 and the Joint Resolution were different documents, with different meanings. A treaty is formed only when both nations have a perfect meeting of the minds—usually when both agree to the same document. 
    The Republic of Hawaii made its objection to the use of the Joint Resolution as ratification, which the United States claimed very clear. The letters from A.S. Hartwell, Special Envoy of the Republic of Hawaii that Hartwell sent to President McKinley in October of 1899 make clear that the Republic did not consider the Joint Resolution of Annexation to constitute ratification of the Treaty of 1897. In this first quote, Hartwell points out, as of October 25, 1899, that ratification by the United States did not ratify the Treaty. This statement was made long after the Joint Resolution became effective, July 7, 1898. Thus, the Republic did not consider the Joint Resolution be a ratification of the Treat. 

    Under the authority given to the President of Hawaii by the Hawaiian constitution, to negotiate a treaty of political union with the United States, subject to ratification by the Hawaiian Senate, such a treaty was negotiated and signed by the authorized plenipotentiaries of each country, and was ratified by the Hawaiian Senate but not by the United States Senate. Consequently, that instrument failed to accomplish or to become evidence of a cession of Hawaii to the United States.
    See Letter of Alfred S. Hartwell, Special Agent of the Government of Hawaii in Washington D.C. to President McKinley, October 25, 1899. [From the Manuscript Collection the Papers of A.S. Hartwell, Archives of State of Hawaii]. 
    General Hartwell specifically noted in his letter to President McKinley that the Joint Resolution was not a ratification:

    Upon the enactment of the Newlands resolution in the place of a ratified treaty, and its full equivalent, I respectfully submit that something was required in the nature of a ratification whereby official notice could be given to Hawaii that the United States had agreed upon annexation.
    The inchoate treaty provided in its seventh article for an exchange of ratifications “at Washington as soon as possible,” Until such exchange, or something equivalent to it, there could be no cession accomplished by mutual agreement.

    See Letter of Alfred S. Hartwell, Special Agent of the Government of Hawaii in Washington D.C. to President McKinley, October 25, 1899. [From the Manuscript Collection the Papers of A.S. Hartwell, Archives of State of Hawaii].

    The Treaty of 1897 was laid before the United States Senate during the fall of 1897. It was not withdrawn by the President. It still lay before the United States Senate in July of 1898 when the Senate debated the Joint Resolution. So long as the Treaty lay before the Senate, as ratified by the Senate of the Republic of Hawaii on September 9, 1897,—ratification according to Article VII of the Treaty was the only means by which the United States could conclude that treaty with the Republic of Hawaii. 
    Any other means, such as the use of a Joint Resolution is ruled out by the language the United States, itself, agreed to. Moreover, the use of the Joint Resolution violates the enumerated powers allocated over foreign affairs to the President and the United States Senate. Lastly, the last requirement of Article VII was never completed. There never was an exchange of ratifications in Washington as required by Article VII. 
    A.S. Hartwell, on behalf of the Republic of Hawaii pointed out to President McKinley that the terms of the Treaty of 1897 and the Joint Resolution of 1898 differed a to a critical term. As such, the two instruments have different terms. The Treaty of 1897 and the Joint Resolution cannot be combined to form a single Treaty. Hartwell pointed out that the treaty proposed June 16, 1897 and the Joint Resolution differed as to material terms:
    The Treaty in its first article declares that “all the territory of and appertaining to the Republic of Hawaii is hereby annexed to the United States of America under the name of the Territory of Hawaii;” thus securing to Hawaii a distinct political status which is not secured by the wording in the Newlands resolution. 

    See Letter of Alfred S. Hartwell, Special Agent of the Government of Hawaii in Washington D.C. to President McKinley, October 25, 1899. [From the Manuscript Collection the Papers of A.S. Hartwell, Archives of State of Hawaii].

    In conclusion, the Joint Resolution of 1898 30 Stat 750, did not ratify the Treaty of Annexation 1897 [June 16, 1897].
    Very truly yours, 
    Williamson Chang, 
    Professor of Law, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    William S. Richardson School of Law.
    • Jr Kuroiwa ·  Top Commenter · University of Hawaii at Manoa
      Mahalo Professor Chang, in confirming the existence of the Republic of Hawaii as an independent Nation (July 4, 1894), the submittal and approval of the Republic of Hawaii’s Treaty of Annexation to U.S. President McKinley (June 16, 1897), the approval of President McKinley’s signed Republic of Hawaii’s Treaty of Annexation by the Republic of Hawaii’s Senate (August 9, 1897), and that President McKinley left the Republic of Hawaii’s Treaty of Annexation with the U.S. Senate. The Spanish – American War changed Hawaiian history when the War presented the critical military need of Hawaii for the United States. This World situation culminated with the U.S. Senate, through the Newlands Joint Resolution, approving the Annexation of Hawaii on July 7, 1898 and the action celebrated in Hawaii on August 12, 1898.

      In my very limited lega... See More
      Reply · Like · March 11 at 2:09pm
  • Kama Ki · Following ·  Top Commenter · Owner at Kamaki's Authentic Hawaiian Adventures
    Add this: ...and then transferred title to another party who was an accessory to the theft of said vehicle....
  • Kama Ki · Following ·  Top Commenter · Owner at Kamaki's Authentic Hawaiian Adventures
    Your last comment reveals much more about you and why you say the things you say, than you realize. Read your own statement carefully. You divide your own family on racist grounds and you lap up a twisted manipulated regurgitated version of history that you believe. that's fine suit yourself, I'm not impressed but the more you say the more you lose credibility.
     

 

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  • Eric K. Keawe · Works at Surfing
    I totally support Williamson Chang's testimony. I believe that our kupuna has been decieved and the Government powers of the U.S.A. have been unfaithful and untruthful to the world in their occupation of our Soveriegn Hawaiian Nation. Our Queen knew and recieved good counsel not to give into the USA and chose to remain a prisoner in her own palace. The question is how do we find a solution to this phony government state of Hawaii. Now that we have been entwined in the web of a U.S. lie how do we untangle ourselves without hurting peoples lives and lifestyles. What's the solution? I pray that the solution will come fairly for our future generations, our keiki.
    • Dom Acain · Follow
      Ken Conklin is delusional. He forgets that the Republic of Hawaii was not a lawful government. It was formed under an occupied territory in which it still remains. No theft of jewelry can be legitimized by transference from thief to fence. The removal of the Monarch in a constitutional monarchy does not dissolve the sovereign status of the people or their nation. It can only be lost through treaty or conquest of war neither of which occurred which the Queen was fully aware of when she commanded our people to stand down. Raising arms would have put us in conflict of war with a stronger nation and all of our hopes to restore the nation would have been lost. She was akamai... But stubborn... Kalamai ia'u...
      Reply · Like · 10 · March 9 at 3:07pm
  • Joe Keliiaumoana Stevens ·  Top Commenter · Pearl City, Hawaii
    What an eerily accurate prediction from Senator Bacon:

    “If we pass the joint resolution, we enter upon a revolution which shall convert this country from a peaceful country into a warlike country. If we pass the resolution, we transform this country from one engaged in its own concerns into one which shall immediately proceed to intermeddle with the concerns of all the world.

    If we pass the joint resolution, we inaugurate a revolution which shall convert this country from one designed for the advancement and the prosperity and the happiness of our citizens into one which shall seek its gratification in dominion and domination and foreign acquisition.”.
  • Ramona Hussey ·  Top Commenter · Administrator at University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Thank you Professor Chang. It shocks the conscience to think that a nation (any nation!) believes it can simply annex another by an act of its own legislature... And that is literally what happened in the case of Hawaii. Mr. Scalia is proof that intellect and status does NOT necessarily yield an informed or reasonable opinion.
    Reply · Like · 7 · Follow Post · Edited · March 7 at 2:18pm
    • Kenneth Conklin ·  Top Commenter · University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
      Williamson Chang says there was no Treaty of Annexation between Hawaii and the United States. But he's mistaken. See "Treaty of Annexation between the Republic of Hawaii and the United States of America (1898). Full text of the treaty, and of the resolutions whereby the Republic of Hawaii legislature and the U.S. Congress ratified it. The politics surrounding the treaty, then and now."
      http://tinyurl.com/2748fgg

      Contrary to what Mr. Chang said, the U.S. did NOT merely pass an internal law all by itself to reach out and grab Hawaii. The Treaty was first offered by the internationally recognized Republic of Hawaii in 1897, and then accepted by the U.S. in 1898. At first it did not come to the floor of the Senate for a vote because the politicians were unsure they had enough support -- it was never brought up for a vote and defeat... See More
      Reply · Like · 6 · March 7 at 2:51pm
  • Lana Ah Lan ·  Top Commenter
    Except Professor Williamson Chang was a part of the "ceded" lands scam which he does not fully disclose.
    •  
      • Jr Kuroiwa ·  Top Commenter · University of Hawaii at Manoa
        In addition Lana, The Republic of Hawaii had request its annexation to the United States through its independent and legislatively approved treaty. The United States Congress approved the Newlands Resolution on July 7, 1898, with its initial statement; “Whereas the Government of the Republic of Hawaii having, in due form, signified its consent, in the manner provided by its constitution, to cede absolutely and without reserve to the United States of America all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, and also to cede and transfer to the United States the absolute fee and ownership of all public, Government, or Crown lands, public buildings or edifices, ports, harbors, military equipment, and all other public property of every kind and description belonging to the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, together with every right and appurtenance thereunto appertaining; Therefore,...”. 

        A Resolution was introduced and approved by the Senate of the Republic of Hawaii; “BE IT RESOLVED, by the Senate of the Republic of Hawaii: That the Senate hereby ratifies and advises and consents to the ratification by the President of the treaty between the Republic of Hawaii and the United States of America on the subject of the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States of America concluded at Washington on the 16th day of June, A. D. 1897, which treaty is word for word as follows:” And, concluded with; "I hereby certify that the foregoing Resolution was unanimously adopted at the Special Session of the Senate of the Republic of Hawaii on the 9th day of September, A. D. 1897. WILLIAM C. WILDER, President”

        This challenges the belief and position of Professor Chang on the annexation of the Republic of Hawaii by the United States..

       
    • Ramona Hussey ·  Top Commenter · Administrator atUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa
      Jr Kuroiwa , you are muddying the waters. That proposed Treaty you quote was never signed by the US Senate. Hence there is/was no treaty between the U.S. and the Hawaiian government. Not to mention many other issues (like was the Repub of Hawaii a legitimate govt? was teh overthrow illegal? did the U.S. participate in the overthrow and thus not have 'clean hands' to take further actions, etc.)
    • Jr Kuroiwa ·  Top Commenter · University of Hawaii at Manoa
      Ramona, yes, the U.S. Senate did not approve the stand alone Treaty that was approved by the Republic of Hawaii's Senate, which was presented and withdrawn by Pres. McKinley to the U.S. Senate. But, the same Treaty was incorporated into the Joint Resolution, as quoted. The Republic of Hawaii was legitimate and created with a Constitution on July 4, 1894 and signed a number of Treaties, including one with the United States. The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations had a hearing the end of 1893 and concluded with a report to Congress on February 26, 1894, that the U.S. Military was not complicit in the overthrow and cleared Mr. Blount and Mr. Stevens of involvement. The Congress approved 6,000 complete copies of the Report for distribution and is available on microphish at the Hawaii State Library. Following the Morgan Report, was the Turpie Resolution of May 31, 1894, that ended the involvement of Pres. Cleveland and Queen Liliuokalani in re-sitting her as Queen.
  • Kenneth Conklin ·  Top Commenter · University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Williamson Chang says there was no Treaty of Annexation between Hawaii and the United States. But he's mistaken. See "Treaty of Annexation between the Republic of Hawaii and the United States of America (1898). Full text of the treaty, and of the resolutions whereby the Republic of Hawaii legislature and the U.S. Congress ratified it. The politics surrounding the treaty, then and now."
    http://tinyurl.com/2748fgg

    Contrary to what Mr. Chang said, the U.S. did NOT merely pass an internal law all by itself to reach out and grab Hawaii. The Treaty was first offered by the internationally recognized Republic of Hawaii in 1897, and then accepted by the U.S. in 1898. At first it did not come to the floor of the Senate for a vote because the politicians were unsure they had enough support -- it was never brought up for a vote and de...See More
  • Celeste Ma'ele Kelii Lacuesta · Ewa Beach, Hawaii
    When Scalia was here in Honolulu, he refuse to talk about our overthrow through the Joint Resolution by the U.S. Government. His "Bias" comments was TOTALLY against what the U.S. Constitution stands for. There was no treaty to take over Hawaii. Hawaii is an International Nation and is recognized as such since 1843 by France, England, Spain and the UNITED STATE. Mr. Scalia should retract on his statement and follow the constitution and the International Law.
     
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  • Clifford Kapono ·  ·  Top Commenter
    Yea, like we are supposed to be surprised? Or better yet, did we think Scalia was going say, "Oh my the US has illegally occupied Hawaii and now it is time to restore the Kingdom to its original state? The problem resides with native Hawaiians who already have US recognition and US statutory definition as a recognized specific people a matter of fact saying we are NOT Japanese. That's the problem promulgated by those less than half giving non-Hawaiians a second bite at the apple.
  • Drew Astolfi ·  Top Commenter · State Director at FACE www.facehawaii.org
    This is very interesting. I would be interested in a comparison to the legality of the conquest of native lands on the mainland. What's the "legal" difference between the conquest and acquisition (theft) of the Black Hills vs. the Kingdom and/or its successor state the Republic.

    Professor care to do a follow up? I'd read it!
  • Lancelot Haili Lincoln ·  ·  Top Commenter · Site Supervisorat Tyco International
    Who was the internationally recognized Republic of Hawaii in 1897, and who was The Committee of Safety, that became the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands? Hello!
     
     
  • Bryan Wittekind · 
    So, let me get this right... Justice Scalia is considered one of the most brilliant minds on the United States Supreme Court and he is wrong on the topic under discussion?
    • Patricia Blair ·  Top Commenter · University of Nebraska-Lincoln
      If Scalia is considered one of the most brilliant minds , I can see why there have been so many dumb decisions, such as corporations are "we the people".
    • Mary Lou Spadaro ·  Top Commenter
      Having a brilliant mind does not exile prejudice and bias - it merely allows for deep analysis and rationalization.
  • Lanny Sinkin · Ali'i Mana'o Nui at Kingdom of Hawaii - restored
    Professor Chang's analysis is clearly superior to what Mr. Conklin offers. In his article http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/TreatyOfAnnexationHawaiiUS.html Kenneth Conklin says: "In July 1897, Congress passed a joint resolution to ratify the Treaty of Annexation. A joint resolution requires only a simple majority in both houses of Congress, but the resolution to adopt the Treaty of Annexation actually passed by 42-21 in the Senate (exactly 2/3) and by 209-91 in the House (more than 2/3). So, in the final analysis, the vote for annexation exceeded the 2/3 that would be required for a treaty, even though it was now called a joint resolution."

    It appears that the actual recorded vote was 52 aye 28 nay and 9 not voting. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/55-2/s329

    The total of 89 differs from the official record that there were 90 Senators. If there were 89 Senators, the required 2/3 would be 59. If there were 90 Senators, the required 2/3 would be 60. In either case, 52 is not 2/3. Certainly using Conklin’s report of the count as 42 ayes, the vote fell far short of 2/3. What he refers to as 2/3 is the ratio of Senators voting yes to Senators voting no without counting Senators choosing not to vote.
    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes#session=158&chamber[]=1 

    The United States Constitutional provision on ratification of treaties requires an affirmative vote of 2/3 of Senators present, not 2/3 of those choosing to vote. "[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur..."

    Even assuming Mr. Conklin's count is correct, 42 voting yes would represent 2/3 if there were only 63 Senators present. There were numerous votes on the Hawaiian issue in which more than 63 Senators actually voted. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes#session=158&chamber[]=1

    With all its other faults legally that Professor Chang so ably identifies, the joint resolution did not get converted into the equivalent of a treaty by a vote satisfying the numerical requirements of the United States Constitution.
    • Jr Kuroiwa ·  Top Commenter · University of Hawaii at Manoa
      Lanny Sinkin, Mahalo with all the verbiage to confirm that the vote on July 7, 1898 was with 90 elected members in the U.S. Senate and that 27 Senators elected not to vote and to be registered as “not voting with reason” on the Newlands Joint Resolution. This resulted with the U.S. Senate recording 42 aye’s (yes) and 21 nay’s (no) votes on the Newlands Joint Resolution. Of the votes cast, it is recorded that 67% voted aye for the Newlands Joint Resolution, which included President McKinley’s signed and approved request dated August 9, 1897 from the Republic of Hawaii to be annexed by the United States that was held by the U.S. Senate.
  • Michael Leinbach ·  Top Commenter · Bel Air, Maryland
    I have a question....... Who is on record contesting the annexation of Hawaii back then in Government? 
    Are people trying to say that Hawaii backed down and allowed the US to annex it out of fear of war? 
    If so please show evidence. I am curious. And don't just send me a link to a humongous article because I have been reading the hell out of articles about this and I cannot find a single place where this annexation was contested. 
    Only that those in power in Hawaii did nothing to stop the annexation of Hawaii. 

    It would be like Obama, if he gave the United States to the United Nations and NO ONE in Congress or the United States Citizenry does anything about it. 
    There was no one contesting the annexation back then in Government nor did the people stand up to the United States. 

    I can tell you this much... if a smaller nation puts up a fight to a larger Nation trying to occupy their land and other Countries see this they will certainly speak out. But no such thing has occurred in in the case of Hawaii. 

    If Hawaii had fought the United States would certainly not had slaughtered them. That wouldn't look too good for their cause. 

    So please, someone explain to me why this was wrong.
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  • Noa Napoleon · Kailua High School
    There were many other American Patriots besides Sen. A.O. Bacon of Georgia who stood with Hawaii against what they knew was a unilateral effort by Congress and the self proclaimed Republic to acquire Hawaii. The US Congress conspired with the insurgents to form the Republic and anyone who cannot see this is willfully blind. This blindness is to me a very dark sin committed by a nation whoʻs government has demonstrated equal distain for its own people and laws. I feel pity for folks like Ken Conklin who by promoting lies about Hawaii only enable the US Government to continue to usurp the rights and liberties of both their own citizens and those countries it overthrew beginning with Hawaii. "Cursed is he who removes his neighbors landmark and all the people say amen" Leviticus. 

    That would mean all Americans who repeat the lies about the Republic being the lawful successor of the Hawaiian Kingdom.....
    • Jr Kuroiwa ·  Top Commenter · University of Hawaii at Manoa
      Brother Noa, all Ken Conklin has posted has been debated and decided in the Federal Courts. I don't see any usurping of rights and liberties of any citizen. I see the tremendous gains of rights and liberties with the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands jointly agreed with the United States.
       

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