Hawaii will be staying in the United States, for the time being.
This week, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the 19th century annexation of the islands. Still, the lawsuit by David Keanu Sai does offer an interesting history lesson, for those who want to know more about the growth of the American empire.
As the judge notes:
"Near the end of the nineteenth century, American business interests were dominating the islands and creating tensions with pro-native, anti-Western interests...In 1893, a group of professionals and businessmen, with the active assistance of John Stevens, the United States Minister to Hawaii, acting with United States Armed Forces, replaced the monarchy with a provisional government that sought annexation by the United States. The overthrow of the Hawaiian government was effected on January 17, 1893."
Hmm, sure sounds familiar...
Anyway, Sai claimed the annexation was unconstitutional. He tried putting money where his mouth is, having created in the 1990s the Hawaiian Kingdom Trust Company to serve as provisional government of the islands. That did not end well, for reasons further spelled out in the judge's decision.
Judge Kollar-Kotelly dismissed the lawsuit, not least because it's beyond her judicial power. She explained:
"The federal courts have long recognized that the determination of sovereignty over a territory is fundamentally a political question beyond the jurisdiction of the courts."