Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Hawai'i v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs

United States Supreme Court
556 U.S. 163 (2009)


Facts

In 1959, Hawaii (defendant) was admitted into the United States. Under the Admission Act, 73 Stat. 4, the United States gave Hawaii all public lands the United States had title over to be held by Hawaii in a public trust for Native Hawaiians. In 1993, Congress passed a resolution (the Apology Resolution), acknowledging the United States’ historical involvement in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and apologizing for the United States’ actions. Section 3 of the Apology Resolution also stated that the resolution was not intended to serve as settlement of any claims against the United States. In this case, as part of the public trust, Hawaii held a parcel of land known as the Leiali’i parcel, which it sought to sell to Hawaii’s Housing Finance Development Corporation (HFDC) for affordable housing. The HFDC was required to pay the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) (plaintiff), which managed the funds and proceeds received from the public trust. However, the OHA also required the HFDC to acknowledge that, pursuant to the Apology Resolution, native Hawaiians might have claims to the land held in the public trust, and all land sold from the public trust was sold with reservation of those possible claims. The HFDC refused. OHA sued Hawaii to prevent Hawaii from selling any lands held in the public trust, until a determination of whether native Hawaiians had any claims to the land was made. The Hawaii state court found against OHA, but the Supreme Court of Hawaii determined that the Apology Resolution required Hawaii to consider whether any outstanding native claims existed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Alito, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 220,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.