HONOLULU (AP) – Harold “Freddy” Rice said he doesn’t think further federal
court action is needed to put in place February’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on
Office of Hawaiian Affairs elections.
The Big Island rancher who
successfully challenged the Hawaiians-only requirement for OHA voting said it
should be up to OHA, the state and its courts to determine what happens
“We have no further issues,” Rice said. “I only questioned a racial
preference at the ballot box, and my suit didn’t target OHA, per se.”
statements came after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday
ordered new federal court proceedings in Hawaii consistent with the Supreme
In the order, the 9th Circuit formally reversed its 1998
ruling upholding a decision the previous year by Ezra in OHA’s favor.
Ben Cayetano also said decisions about what happens next should be made at the
Cayetano and Rice filed a motion Wednesday telling Ezra they
will ask him not to do anything but enter the judgment and award attorneys’
fees and costs.
The state also was expected to file papers with Ezra saying
OHA’s motion to intervene in the Rice case now is unnecessary and should be
OHA Chairman Clayton Hee was wary of that idea, saying groups that
have already proclaimed the Supreme Court’s decision as merely a first step may
ask the court for more relief.
“Ezra can interpret the (Supreme Court)
decision conservatively as dealing only with the election process or broadly by
reviewing the status of the trustees,” he said.
The state and OHA have
asked the Hawaii Supreme Court for a ruling on whether the sitting OHA trustees
must be replaced in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling and, if so, how and